R.I. Gov. Lincoln Chafee has big problems

February 28, 2013

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I), who is up for reelection in 2014, is in some real trouble, with both of his likely Democratic opponents being more than twice as popular as he is.

According to a new poll from Brown University, Chafee's approval rating is just 26 percent. That's compared to 64 percent for Providence Mayor Angel Taveras (D) and 56 percent for state Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D) -- both potential candidates to challenge Chafee.


Rhode Island governor and former senator Lincoln Chafee (I). (Stew Milne - AP)

(Note: Unlike most other polls, Brown asks people to rate a politician's performance as "excellent," "good," "fair" or "poor." The first two are considered approval, while the second two are disapproval.)

Chafee's numbers have been struggling for a while now. There was some thought that he might become a Democrat and seek that party's nomination (Chafee, a former senator, already switched from Republican to Independent), but the poll suggests Democrats would be better served running with either Taveras or Raimondo.

Here's the whole poll, courtesy of the great Ted Nesi.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake | February 28, 2013