Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who announced his Democratic run for governor last month, remains the best-liked politician in Rhode Island, according to a newly released WPRI-TV/Providence Journal poll.
The poll shows Taveras with a 57 percent approval rating, compared with 51 percent approval for state Treasurer Gina Raimondo; 47 percent for Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung; 23 percent for fellow GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Block; and 33 percent for newly organized Democratic hopeful Clay Pell.
The WPRI/ProJo poll doesn't offer matchups for the Democratic and Republican primaries that will take place next September. The survey was based on a sample of 506 respondents and has a margin of error of 4.38 percentage points.
Taveras has mostly topped a series of approval polls in Rhode Island over recent years, followed closely by Raimondo. Yet the outcome of the Democratic primary for governor, particularly with the entry of Pell, remains up for grabs.
One of the most striking findings is how Block, even after running for governor and attracting 6.5 percent of the vote in 2010, attracted a "don't know" from 68 percent of respondents in the poll.
Here's the approval/negative/don't know rankings for the candidates
The poll shows Governor Lincoln Chafe, who isn't seeking re-election, with a 30 percent approval rating.
President Obama's has an approval rating of 47 percent and a negative rating of 52 percent.
Senator Jack Reed, who traditionally led approval polls in Rhode Island before the ascent of Taveras and Raimondo, has a 55 percent approval rating and a 34 percent negative ratting.
Forty-nine percent of respondents say things have gotten better in Providence since Taveras became mayor, while 31 percent say things are about the same. Eight percent say conditions have worsened, and 11 percent were unsure.
On the question of who would do the best job on improving the economy, regardless of the respondent's own view, Taveras came out on top with 26 percent, followed by unsure (23 percent); Fung (20 percent); Raimondo (16 percent); and Block (7 percent) and Pell (7 percent).