By Tessa Roy, WPRO News
Governor Gina Raimondo has widened her lead over Republican challenger Mayor Allan Fung in the latest WPRI/Roger Williams University poll. Raimondo stands at 43%, Fung at 36%, and Independent Joe Trillo at 7%.
Trillo, according to pollster Joe Fleming, could be a roadblock to a Fung victory as Trillo’s supporters are already unlikely to vote for Raimondo. Fleming tells WPRO’s Dan Yorke that among Trillo voters, 68% view Raimondo’s performance as poor and 25% view her performance as fair.
“Those are voters that Allan Fung could probably get if Joe Trillo wasn’t in the race,” Fleming said. “But I think Joe Trillo is cutting into Allan Fung right now. The question is can Allan Fung get Joe Trillo’s numbers to come down so they’ll move over to Allan Fung.”
Fleming noted that Fung’s numbers are relatively unchanged, but added it’s uncertain if Raimondo’s numbers can go any higher.
“He’s stayed at about 36% in every one of our polls, so he also has to get moving. The question is how high can the governor go, and the conventional wisdom is she can’t go higher than 44, 45%,” Fleming said.
Fung’s campaign argued Raimondo’s numbers still aren’t good enough to guarantee her another term.
“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 campaign said in a statement. “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 said he doesn’t believe the poll and is staying in the race.
“We’re a week out of the primary. The people haven’t even got their breath yet. When did he take this poll? Primary night? Or did he take it 2 or 3 days before the poll?” Trillo told Yorke.
Raimondo’s team reacted positively to the poll.
“There’s a lot at risk for Rhode Islanders in this election. Governor Raimondo is bringing real change and strong leadership to Rhode Island, after too many years in which our leaders failed us and Rhode Islanders fell behind,” said spokesperson Mike Raia. “There are more jobs right now than at nearly any other time in state history and unemployment is the lowest it’s been in close to 20 years. Allan Fung opposes the policies that are finally changing things for the better in our state, and he’ll never stand up to President Trump. He can’t be trusted to lead our state.”
Channel 12 also reports that “among the other candidates on the ballot for governor, Moderate Party nominee Bill Gilbert received 1.7%, independent Compassion Party candidate Anne Armstrong received 1.4%, and independent Luis Daniel Muñoz received 0.5%.”