Fung releases poll memo showing close race with Raimondo

Gina Raimondo, left, and Allan Fung won their party's primaries for governor.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung released an internal poll memo Monday that shows Fung and Democratic opponent Gina Raimondo locked in a close battle for the state’s top job.

Fung’s campaign said the poll shows the two candidates tied a 42%, with the remaining voters saying they are undecided. The campaign refused to release the results of the entire poll and also declined to release the survey’s questions, but spokesman Rob Coupe said the head-to-head section was asked “before any issue questions.”

“The results of this survey demonstrate clearly that Mayor Fung begins the general election campaign in a very strong position based upon his leadership, record of results in the city of Cranston, and vision to bring jobs to Rhode Island,” Coupe said in a statement.

Fung defeated Republican Ken Block in last week’s Republican primary 55%-45%, while Raimondo, the state treasurer, earned 42% of the vote in her three-way Democratic primary victory over Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Clay Pell.

Fung’s internal poll was conducted Sept. 10 through Sept. 11 by Virginia-based Public Opinion Strategies. They landline and cell phone survey included 500 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38%.

Raimondo spent nearly $4.4 million to win her primary, compared with Fung’s $644,000, according to a review of campaign finance reports filed Sept. 1. Raimondo had $361,089 cash on hand and Fung reported $129,726.

“Since her overwhelming victory in last Tuesday’s primary, Gina has continued to get an enthusiastic response from across Rhode Island,” Nicole Kayner, a spokeswoman for the campaign, said in a statement. “The results last week showed that Rhode Islanders are ready for a governor who will get our state back to work, and Gina is the candidate with both the experience and a plan to create jobs.”

The governor’s office is open because one-term incumbent Lincoln Chafee is not seeking re-election.

Fung’s poll was conducted before Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey entered the race. There are also two Independent candidates in the race – Leon Kayarian and Kate Fletcher.

The general election is Nov. 4.

Dan McGowan ( ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan

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