Elected Official Performance Numbers from Brown (and the Justin Katz Senate Thesis)

If you aggregate the elected official job-performance results from Brown University’s May 18-20 Survey of registered Rhode Island voters into “favorable” categories of excellent and good, and “unfavorable” categories of fair and poor, a few interesting trends emerge…

  1. Governor Donald Carcieri would have a hard time getting elected to a third term (if he were eligible) with a 36%/59% split in the “favorable” versus “unfavorable” categories.
  2. Outside-of-the-Democratic party conventional wisdom has tended towards viewing Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts as having very little shot at becoming Governor, while at least some insiders regard her as a serious contender. The poll numbers seem to support the outside-of-the-party view, with a 22%/36% disadvantage for the Lieutenant Governor in the “favorable” versus “unfavorable” job-ratings. In sharp contrast, both General Treasurer Frank Caprio (41%/24%) and Attorney General Patrick Lynch (47%/39%) have a substantial advantage in their “favorable” categories. Lieutenant Governor Roberts does have more undecideds to work with than the others.
  3. Amongst respondents who have an opinion about him, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is dead-even in the “favorable” versus “unfavorable” categories, 43%/43%. For an incumbent Rhode Island Senator, that is a surprisingly poor split — perhaps Justin’s rationale for voting for Senator Whitehouse is already starting to manifest itself!

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Paul
Paul
12 years ago

I see a little light at the end of a bleak tunnel – Now that Arlene Violet may run for Carcieri’s spot!!
I suspect her numbers will be much better!

George
George
12 years ago

Let’s not forget, there will be a special election for Jack Reed’s seat in 2010. Aside from Lynch, none of the assumed big-name Democrats has really come out and said they’d run for Governor. So we really don’t know who’ll run for Governor or Senate.
Carcieri’s numbers are meaningless. The influence of positives/negatives, if the field for Governor narrows ought to be fairly small. E.g. Lynch’s negatives hurt if he’s running against Caprio, but probably not if he’s running against Roberts or Fogarty.
Money is another factor that makes the special election for Reed’s seat interesting. All the millions Democrat candidates have raised for gubernatorial bids cannot be used for a federal race. Who among them is worst off by switching horses mid stream?

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
12 years ago

Hi!
The Democratic gubernatorial primary is likely to be won by a plurality not majority vote in 2010 and anything can happen. We need to see who gets in the end.
I find it interesting that his handling of the Station Night Club Fire has not hurt the AG more politically.
Regards,
Scott

Chuck
12 years ago

I am completely perplexed by this poll, and frankly find it questionable in accuracy. I cannot believe that 60% favor gay marriage in question 1, while only 55% of the very same polling sample favor gay marriage in question 3. Having had a little experience in polling some years ago, my former colleague asks good questions like: What are the breakdowns by city/town, age, gender, education level, etc. which are crucial to understanding the results?
These results appear to be those of a poll taken on the East Side only.
When asking about the favorability of various potential gubernatorial candidates, why not have juxtaposed them to each other: Caprio versus Lynch versus Roberts, etc.? This poll told us little of value in my humble opinion and received far more press than it really deserved.
We have a post on this issue on my blog.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Whitehouse’s numbers seem pretty similar to Patrick Kennedy’s. They both look pretty beatable on paper, but somehow, the GOP can’t come up with a candidate capable of getting the job done.
I still think Patrick can be taken by a pro-choice woman. His support is a mile wide and one inch deep.

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