Governor race in Rhode Island is Close

The governor race in Rhode Island has been a sleeper race that many outside the state haven’t been paying much attention to. A new poll suggest we should all keep an eye out on Rhode Island on election night.

Brown University is out with a new poll in Rhode Island that finds Gina Raimondo (D) barely ahead of Allan Fung (R) in the race for governor, 38% to 37%. Bob Healey (I) is at 12%.

“Raimondo’s 0.6-point lead in the new Brown poll is the slimmest she’s had in the various public surveys of the race released since mid-September. An online-only New York Times/CBS News/YouGov survey released Monday showed Raimondo with a 5-point lead over Fung.

“If you look across polls, the higher the undecided the better Gina is doing,” Morone said, noting that the Times/CBS/YouGov survey found 21% of voters undecided. One of the biggest challenges facing Raimondo, he said, is that the new poll shows her winning only 52% of Democrats, suggesting she “has not solidified the Democratic base.”

In the race for Rhode Island attorney general, Democratic incumbent Peter Kilmartin is at 51%, while his Republican challenger Dawson Hodgson is at 38%, with 10% of voters still undecided.

The two surveys Brown released this month are the first conducted by the university since it overhauled its political polling operation following widespread criticism of its practices and questions about the accuracy of its results.

The 500 respondents surveyed by Brown were 46% men and 54% women; 12% ages 18-39, 40% ages 40-59 and 44% ages 60 and older; and 44% Democrats, 13% Republicans and 43% independents, according to information released by the university.

Raimondo is seeking to become the first Democrat elected Rhode Island governor since Bruce Sundlun won a second term in 1992; outgoing incumbent Lincoln Chafee won in 2010 as an independent but became a Democrat last year. A Fung win would be the eighth Republican gubernatorial victory in Rhode Island since 1984; the most recent GOP governor, Don Carcieri, won with 54% of the vote in 2002 and 51% in 2006.”