Poll: Raimondo, Fung in tight race for RI gov

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo holds a slim lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race for Rhode Island governor, according to a newly released online-only poll by The New York Times, CBS News and YouGov.

The survey of 724 voters in Rhode Island shows Raimondo on top at 41%, with Fung close behind at 38%. An additional 2% of voters said they were supporting another candidate, while 19% said they were undecided.

While 79% of self-identified Republicans are supporting Fung, only 64% of self-identified Democrats are supporting Raimondo. Fung has the edge with independents, leading Raimondo 42% to 36% among those voters. Fung has an 8-point edge among voters ages 30 to 44, but Raimondo has a 7-point advantage among voters ages 65 and older.

The online poll was conducted Sept. 20 through Oct. 1 by Palo Alto, Calif.-based YouGov. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus approximately 4 percentage points for the Rhode Island results.

The New York Times/CBS News/YouGov poll uses an online panel of 105,277 voters nationwide to get its results. While survey experts remain divided over how much to trust online-only poll data, a recent analysis by election forecaster Nate Silver found Internet polls were slightly more accurate than telephone polls in 2012.

The Times/CBS/YouGov results are similar to those of an automated landline-only telephone poll last month by Rasmussen Reports, which showed Raimondo at 42% and Fung at 37%.

Fresh poll results in the race for governor will be released when a new survey by WPRI 12 and The Providence Journal is released starting Tuesday at 5 p.m. on Eyewitness News and WPRI.com. The WPRI 12/Journal poll will be the first to test support for Moderate Party nominee Bob Healey, who jumped into the race last month.

The Times/CBS/YouGov poll also surveyed 2,389 voters in Massachusetts over the same period and found Democratic gubernatorial nominee Martha Coakley leading her Republican rival Charlie Baker. The poll found Coakley at 47% and Baker at 41%, with 11% of voters undecided.

The general election is Nov. 4.

Ted Nesi ( tnesi@wpri.com ) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com and writes the Nesi’s Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi

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