NEARI poll has Robitaille beating Chafee and Raimondo for governor
A poll of 400 likely voters, commissioned by the National Education Association Rhode Island, shows Republican John Robitaille narrowly beating Governor Lincoln Chafee and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo in a hypothetical matchup for the governor’s office.
NEARI executive director Robert Walsh declined to provide a copy of the poll. But during a taping this afternoon of a special one-hour pension show (set for broadcast on RIPR at 7 this evening), Walsh discussed it.
Walsh says the poll conducted by Abacus Associates of Massachusetts shows Robitaille with 30 percent of the vote, compared with 28 percent for Chafee, and 22 percent for Raimondo.
The Robitaille-Chafee finding is bound to be within the poll’s margin of error (typically 4 to 4.5 percent). And it’s not a huge surprise, considering how Chafee narrowly beat Robitaille, 36 percent to 34 percent, in last year’s governor’s race.
Walsh says his point in presenting the information is that, in his view, voters prefer a real Republican over Democrats who act like one. The teachers’ union chief says he considers Raimondo a DINO — a pejorative acronym meaning “Democrat in Name Only.” (Raimondo has consistently argued that the pension overhaul law passed last week was necessary to preserve and strengthen the state retirement system.)
Despite his critique of Raimondo, Walsh indicated he’s not prepared to vote for Robitaille should he run for the governor’s office again.
Also joining myself and Scott MacKay during the one-hour pension show were House Speaker Gordon Fox; Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed; Richard Licht, director of the state Department of Administration; and URI political science professor Maureen Moakley. Tune in tonight at 7.