Chafee Looks Solid in RIC Poll
A new Rhode Island College poll indicates that Senator Chafee holds a comfortable lead in both the GOP primary and the general election:
Chafee would beat challenger and Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey 56 percent to 28 percent in the Republican primary. For that question, the poll sampled 107 people who said they would vote in the Republican primary. Because the sample is smaller, the margin of error rises to 9 percentage points.
The results of the Democratic primary were not as clear cut, though former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse leads a three-way field with 37 percent. He is followed by Secretary of State Matthew Brown, with 21 percent, and Carl Sheeler, 8 percent. The margin of error for the Democratic primary is also 9 percentage points, with 117 people who said they would vote in the Democratic primary sampled.
But the poll indicated the outcome of the Democratic primary may be academic: Chafee would beat Whitehouse 51 percent to 32 percent and would beat Brown 53 percent to 28 percent. That is based on the full sample, with the 5-percentage-point margin of error.
Similarly, Laffey would lose, regardless of his Democratic opponent. Brown would win 48 percent to 29 percent and Whitehouse would win 50 percent to 27 percent.
This is the first public poll that attempted to sample for the GOP primary and–in that light–it’s interesting to note that the percentage of support for Senator Chafee and Mayor Laffey are consistent for both the GOP primary and the general election. This is good news and bad news for Mayor Laffey. Mayor Laffey has a solid 28-30% core both within the GOP and statewide, which means he is appealing to some independents out there. Nonetheless, the bad news far outweighs the good for Mayor Laffey. He still has some work to do to appeal to the GOP primary voters, whether they are Republican or not.
UPDATE: Here is a link to the actual poll document from the RIC Bureau of Government Research and Services (PDF).
Here are some of the interesting internals:
45% of the respondents were male
55% of the respondents were female
(For below, Dem=Democrat Primary Voter, Rep-Republican Primary Voter)
East Bay – 10% of total, 9% Dem, 10% Rep
Western RI – 5% of total, 2% Dem, 4% Rep
Blackstone Valley – 16% of total, 19% Dem, 16% Rep
Providence Metro – 34% of total, 32% Dem, 33% Rep
Providence – 11% of total, 22% Dem, 4% Rep
Washington County – 13% of total, 10% Dem, 19% Rep
Newport County – 10% of total, 6% Dem, 14% Rep