Eyewitness News, RWU to release results from exclusive poll of RI voters on Monday

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Eyewitness News and Roger Williams University will be releasing the first results from their new political polling partnership on Monday, including an early look at the 2018 Rhode Island gubernatorial race.

The live interview survey of 419 registered voters was written by WPRI 12 staff with input from the university, and was conducted by Eyewitness News Political Analyst Joe Fleming, who has been conducting polls for WPRI 12 since the 1980s. Both landlines and cellphones were called.

“We’re sampling a number of issues. We’re sampling the direction of the state, which we’ve done for Channel 12 for many, many years,” Fleming said Friday during a taping of WPRI 12’s Newsmakers. “We’re also sampling favorability of candidates – basically for governor and also president – to see how voters feel about them.”

Monday’s poll will be the first of several in a new partnership between WPRI 12 and RWU, which will also include holding at least one live televised debate at the university’s Bristol campus later in the year.

“WPRI 12 has been the leader in Rhode Island political polling for more than three decades, and we’re proud to continue that tradition with a new partner,” Patrick Wholey, vice president and general manager of WPRI 12, Fox Providence, CW Providence and myRITV, said in a statement. “The Eyewitness News team is committed to providing the most comprehensive in-depth political coverage all year so voters can be informed when they go to the polls.”

RWU President Donald Farish said the school is excited to partner on the polls, which “will help inform Rhode Island voters and public policy makers.”

“As it strives to be the university the world needs now, Roger Williams University looks for opportunities to engage with the community and address the issues that matter most today,” Farish said in a statement.

In addition to questions about Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo and her potential challengers, the survey also asked voters about gun control, immigration and sexual harassment in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Job approval numbers for President Trump and Rhode Island’s U.S. senators were collected, as well. The first results will be released Monday at 5 p.m.