Rasmussen is out with a new survey of 750 likely voters about the Rhode Island governor’s race, conducted on Oct. 21. Margin of error is plus or minus 4 points. Here are the results:
- Lincoln Chafee: 35%
- Frank Caprio: 28%
- John Robitaille: 25%
- Ken Block: 6%
- Not sure: 6%
The big headline is how close Democrat Frank Caprio and Republican John Robitaille are compared with Rasmussen’s previous survey on Oct. 4 – more good news for the Republican after yesterday’s announcement that the national G.O.P. is going to invest in his campaign. This is the first time Rasmussen has had Caprio under 30% since March. Chafee’s two-point gain is within the margin of error, and Robitaille is back where he was in May. Undecideds are steadily shrinking in number.
Here’s an updated version of my chart tracking Rasmussen’s results since it started polling the race in February (Block isn’t in here because Rasmussen only started including him recently):
The growing support for Robitaille helps explain why Caprio is going after him in a new mailing, as The Associated Press’ Eric Tucker reported earlier today:
The front of the mailing includes photos of Robitaille and the Statehouse and carries the headline, “John Robitaille is not ready to manage Rhode Island’s budget crisis.” It includes a quote from an August newspaper article in which Robitaille, while discussing his intention to surround himself with smart advisers, said, “I am not a budget guru.”
Robitaille campaign manager Mike Napolitano called the mailing ridiculous and said the quotes were taken out of context.
“I think it shows that they’re afraid of us,” he said, later adding that the campaign planned no negative ads of its own between now and the Nov. 2 election.
Today’s Rasmussen survey is the first new independent poll on the governor’s race we’ve gotten in two weeks, but it won’t be the last before voters cast their ballots. WPRI will release another poll conducted by Fleming & Associates between now and Nov. 2.
The gubernatorial candidates will meet for our last televised debate of the campaign next Tuesday night at 7 p.m. – it will be held at PPAC, and you can order free tickets here if you’d like to attend in person. Or you can watch at home and enjoy my patented live-tweeting.
Update: No surprise, Robitaille spokesman Mike Napolitano was in a good mood when I called him to ask about the new Rasmussen survey.
“We think it’s great,” Napolitano said. “We’re three points behind Caprio and it’s 6% undecided. And with all the money they’ve spent – especially all the money Caprio’s spent – he’s actually gone down. So obviously John’s positive message is resonating with voters.”
“This is an extremely close race,” he added. No argument there from me.
Update #2: The Block campaign will be glad to see its candidate above the 5% threshold required for the Moderate Party to stay on the ballot going forward.