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WPRI-RWU Poll: Raimondo Develops Seven Point Lead Over Fung

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new pollcommissioned by WPRI-TV and Roger William University shows that Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, has opened a seven-point lead over her Republican rival, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

Raimondo enjoys the support of 43.1 percent of respondents, according to the poll, while Fung attracts 36.2 percent of the support, followed by Republican-turned-independent Joe Trillo with 6.7 percent, Moderate Party candidate William Gilbert with 1.7 percent, Compassion Party candidate Anne Armstrong with 1.4 percent, and independent Luis-Daniel Munoz with 0.5 percent. A bit less than 10 percent of respondents were undecided.

The poll is based on surveys with 400 people and the margin of error is 4.8 percentage points, meaning that Raimondo's lead over Fung could be more or less than seven points. The poll was conducted from September 14-17.

The previous two polls from WPRI and RWU, released inAugust and March, showed a statistical dead heat between Fung and Raimondo.

Fung's campaign offered this comment through spokesman Andrew Augustus: "The governor has spent over 5 million dollars and her numbers remain absolutely abysmal for a Democrat incumbent Governor in a deep blue state. The majority of Rhode Islanders are clearly saying that they want change and that they do not want Gina Raimondo. Allan Fung is the only candidate that can beat her and bring that change, and a vote for anyone else only gets you four more years of the same incompetent governor."

Trillo was quick to criticize the finding regarding his support, which, he said, is higher than reflected in the poll.

“How can Joe Fleming put out a poll so soon after the primary?" Trillo asked. "It is irresponsible to go out into the field mere days after the primary election, when some voters are not yet focused on the governor’s race. Any pollster would know that this skews the results. What people need to start focusing on, instead of a poll, is who is going to start turning this state around. That candidate is me, the true independent, beholden to no one.” 

Raimondo has spent millions of dollars on television commercials and other campaign efforts for many months. She enjoyed a larger-than-expected 24-point victory over her closest Democratic rival, Matt Brown, in the September 12 primary, while Fung cruised to a 16-point victory over his top GOP rival, Patricia Morgan.

Here are other top findings from the poll:

-- Democratic U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who is seeking his third term, has the support of almost 54 percent percent of respondents, while his Republican opponent, Robert Flanders, trails with 35.2 percent of the support.

-- More Rhode Islanders think the state is headed in the wrong direction (41.7 percent) than the right direction (39 percent).

-- The approval rating for both Raimondo and Fung is hovering close to 50 percent. President Trump's approval rating comes in at about 30 percent.