February 24th, 2010
09:16 AM ET
4 years ago

Independent Chafee holds early lead in Rhode Island

 Lincoln Chafee holds a narrow lead in Rhode Island’s gubernatorial race, according to a new poll.
Lincoln Chafee holds a narrow lead in Rhode Island’s gubernatorial race, according to a new poll.

(CNN) - Republican-turned-independent Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island has a narrow lead in his state's gubernatorial race, according to a new survey conducted by Brown University.

The poll, released late Tuesday, shows that the former Republican senator would defeat the leading Democratic candidate, State Treasurer Frank Caprio, by 6 points, 34-28 percent.

Republican candidate John Robitaille, a former aide to current Gov. Don Carcieri, registers 12 percent in the survey. About a third of voters say they remain undecided.

The poll also said that Chafee would soundly defeat state Attorney General Patrick Lynch, another Democrat seeking the gubernatorial nomination, by a 32-17 percent margin. In both scenarios, Chaffee draws support from a third of Democratic voters and 40 percent among independents.

Caprio holds a 9-point lead in a Democratic primary matchup with Lynch, 30-12 percent. Close to 50 percent of Democrats are undecided.

The poll also finds a slight majority of Rhode Islanders, 52 percent, believe President Obama's stimulus measure has not had an effect on the nation's economy, while 58 percent said it has not helped their local community. Rhode Island has the nation's third highest unemployment rate – behind Michigan and Nevada – at 12.9 percent, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Chafee, the lone Republican to vote against authorization for the war in Iraq, served in the Senate from 1999 until his defeat in 2006. He left the Republican Party in 2007, saying at the time, "It's not my party any more."

The poll surveyed 605 registered voters from February 9-12 and carries a sampling error of 3.9 percent.


Filed under: 2010 • Lincoln Chafee • Rhode Island
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. gt

    these politicains need to get a real job,,, all they do is live off the tax payers,,,,

    February 24, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Hes ok,but my goodness hes as ugly as his namesake.Good thing it doesnt take looks to govern,poor guy.

    February 24, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. jp,michigan

    This is what is missing on the Hill, more independent thinker who vote according to will of the people, not party.

    February 24, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Publius13

    Republican Party going down.

    February 24, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Sniffit

    Rhode Island is the West Virginia of the northeast.

    Don't tell us anything about his current positions though, CNN.

    February 24, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    These republicans claiming to be independents are full of crap. Chafee is running as a independent to try and gain Tea Party support. He is no different than any other republican.

    February 24, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. RealityKing

    Image a progressive free America..., image a strong and vibrant Ameirca.

    February 24, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Preston

    I'd be happy for RI were Mr. Chafee to be elected, but would much have preferred to have had him remain in the Senate where he could have accomplished far more good for far more people.

    February 24, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |