The Democratic primary for governor is now a three-way race between Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea (24 percent), incumbent Governor Dan McKee (20 percent) and former CVS executive Helena Foulkes (16 percent), with former secretary of state Matt Brown and health care advocate Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz stuck in the single digits.
If you’re in Camp Gorbea, this is the first public poll that confirms what you’ve been saying for a while: Gorbea is in the lead. She’s polling well among women, people over the age of 55, and voters who disapprove of how McKee is doing as governor.
For Camp McKee, you have to feel good about having strong support among Black and Latino voters, and there are plenty of people who appear to be content with the job he’s doing now. For Camp Foulkes, it’s trust the process. The TV ads appear to be working, and the more people get to know her, the more they like her.
The glass half-empty view of the governor’s race
Ho-hum. More than 30 percent of primary voters are still undecided, and no candidate is above 25 percent in our poll. Does Gorbea have the resources to get to an actual win number? Is McKee stuck in the mud? Can Foulkes win a primary with virtually no support among Black and Latino voters?
Our poll didn’t test Republican favorite Ashley Kalus against any of the Democrats, so we don’t know where she stands after a few months of television advertising. But if no Democrat is going to run away with the primary and the candidates end up going negative on each other (that’s coming), Kalus is going to have every opportunity to make this a competitive race in the general election.
Is Allan Fung a lock to win CD 2?
No. But the poll results showing the former Cranston mayor with strong leads over every potential Democrat in the race is flying through national Republican circles right now, and for good reason. Fung has a healthy lead among independents against Democratic frontrunner Seth Magaziner (58 percent to 20 percent).
One thing to remember: Our poll was conducted June 19-June 22, which means it came before the US Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade. Fung has always wanted to race to be a referendum on his time as mayor of Cranston, but there is no chance of that happening now. That won’t be an easy issue for Fung to navigate.
Biden is struggling in Rhode Island
There has been lots of national polling that shows Americans have deep concerns about President Joe Biden running again in 2024, but when 68.8 percent of Rhode Islanders voters don’t think he should seek a second term, that’s a major problem. (Remember, one of his closest advisors, Mike Donilon, is a Rhode Island native, so there’s at least a chance he saw the poll.) His approval rating isn’t much better. He’s stuck at 39 percent, which is slightly worse than McKee (40 percent).
You can catch up with all of the analysis here: