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Hassenfeld Institute poll finds most Rhode Islanders approve of Raimondo’s pandemic response

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81% of voters said Governor Raimondo is doing an excellent or good job in dealing with the crisis, compared to 34% for President Trump.


The Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership today released a public opinion survey on the attitudes of Rhode Island registered voters relating to the coronavirus crisis. The survey was conducted from April 15 through April 18, 2020.

[The poll relied heavily on landlines, older people and those who make more than $75,000 a year.]

The poll surveyed public attitude about the job approval voters give elected officials in handling the coronavirus crisis, trust voters place in information being provided, the effect of the crisis on personal economic well-being, the impact on participation in the political process, and attitudes towards the roles and responsibilities of government.

The Institute’s Director, Gary Sasse, said “The Spring of 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the Institute. Unfortunately, it coincided with the global pandemic. In light of these circumstances, as a public service the Institute has decided that this was the right time to examine the public’s perception of leadership during this crisis.”

Summary of key findings (Detailed highlights of the survey’s findings here):

  1. Rhode Island voters rate the job performance of state elected leaders higher than national elected leaders. 60% said state elected leaders are doing an excellent or good job compared to 32% for national elected leaders.
  2. 81% of voters said Governor Raimondo is doing an excellent or good job in dealing with the crisis, compared to 34% for President Trump.
  3. 84% of voters said they have a great deal or good amount trust in information Governor Raimondo is providing.
  4. 35% said they had a great deal or good amount of trust in the information President Trump was providing the public.
  5. 86% said they had a great deal or good amount of trust in the information provided by public health officials.
  6. More than half (53%) said their finances have been negatively affected by the Coronavirus, either greatly or moderately.
  7. Over one in five Rhode Island voters (22%) said the Coronavirus had no negative financial impact on them, while 23% saying they have experienced little negative impact.
  8. As a result of the Coronavirus, Rhode Islanders said they are more likely to engage in voting (82%), and 61% were more likely to express their views to elected officials.
  9. A majority of voters said that the responsibilities of the federal government should be expanded in health care (53%), income security (53%) and education technology (62%).

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The telephone survey of 410 Rhode Island registered voters was conducted from April 15 through April 18, 2020 by Fleming & Associates. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 4.8%.