The Brown University News Bureau
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voters oppose new agreement to build downtown shopping mall;
are unhappy with Almond performance; prefer Reed to Mayer for Senate
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Two-thirds of Rhode Island voters oppose the new agreement to build a shopping mall in downtown Providence, according to a recent statewide survey. Voters also are unhappy with the job performance of Gov. Lincoln Almond. They would prefer Rep. Jack Reed to State Treasurer Nancy Mayer in a U.S. Senate race.
The survey was conducted Sept. 17 to 20, 1995, at Brown University by Darrell M. West, professor of political science and director of the John Hazen White Sr. Public Opinion Laboratory; Thomas J. Anton, director of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions; and Jack Combs, the Center's research administrator. It was based on a statewide random sample of 448 registered voters in Rhode Island. Overall, it had a margin of error of about plus or minus five percentage points.
Sixty-six percent of voters opposed the proposal to build a new shopping mall in downtown Providence, 25 percent were in favor of it, and 9 percent had no opinion about the mall. When asked how much this new shopping mall would benefit the Rhode Island economy, 58 percent said not very much, 25 percent believed it would help some, 10 percent felt it would help a lot, and 7 percent had no opinion. Twenty-three percent believed Almond has done an excellent or good job handling the mall issue, 30 percent felt his handling of it has been only fair, 28 percent believed his handling of the mall issue has been poor, and 19 percent were unsure.
In terms of the governor's job performance overall, 34 percent felt it has been excellent or good, 52 percent believed it has been only fair or poor, and 14 percent had no opinion. These numbers are more negative than the previous survey in June. At that time, 44 percent felt Almond was doing an excellent or good job, 41 percent believed he was doing only fair or poor, and 15 percent had no opinion. In February, 33 percent said he was doing an excellent or good job, 35 percent believed he was doing only fair or poor, and 32 percent had no opinion.
Sixty-two percent believed Attorney General Jeff Pine is doing an excellent or good job, compared to 47 percent for Mayer, 32 percent for Secretary of State Jim Langevin, and 30 percent for Lt. Gov. Robert Weygand.
As to federal officials, 38 percent felt President Bill Clinton is doing an excellent or good job, 63 percent felt that way about Sen. Claiborne Pell (up from 45 percent in June), 51 percent believed it about Sen. John Chafee, 44 percent thought Rep. Patrick Kennedy is doing an excellent or good job, and 46 percent believed that of Reed.
In the race for U.S. Senate, voters preferred Reed to Mayer by 48 to 26 percent, with 26 percent unsure. If the Senate race would pit Mayer against former Providence Mayor Joe Paolino, Mayer would hold a lead of 48 to 25 percent, with 27 percent undecided.
Fifty-eight percent believed O.J. Simpson is guilty of murdering his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, but 54 percent thought the jury will find Simpson not guilty of murder.
For more information, contact Darrell M. West at 863-1163.
What about the next 12 months or so? Do you expect the Rhode Island economy to get better, stay about the same, or get worse? 18% get better, 50% stay the same, 25% get worse, 7% don't know or no answer
We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) are: 36% better off, 35% worse off financially than you were a year ago, 29% don't know or no answer
Now looking ahead - do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be: 25% better off financially, 12% worse off, 58% just about the same as now, 5% don't know or no answer
Now turning to business conditions in the state as a whole - do you think that during the next twelve months we'll have: 28% good times financially, 45% bad times, 27% don't know or no answer
Looking ahead, which would you say is more likely - that in the state as a whole: 22% that we'll have continuous good times during the next five years or so, 57% that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, 21% don't know or no answer
About the big things people buy for their homes - such as furniture, a refrigerator, stove, television, and things like that. Generally speaking, do you think now is a: 51% good time, 27% bad time for people to buy major household items, 22% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Bill Clinton is doing as president? 5% excellent, 33% good, 45% only fair, 15% poor, 2% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Claiborne Pell is doing as U.S. senator? 19% excellent, 44% good, 21% only fair, 7% poor, 9% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job John Chafee is doing as U.S. senator? 9% excellent, 42% good, 28% only fair, 9% poor, 12% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Patrick Kennedy is doing as U.S. representative? 9% excellent, 35% good, 28% only fair, 8% poor, 20% don't know or no answer (first congressional district only)
How would you rate the job Jack Reed is doing as U.S. representative? 10% excellent, 36% good, 26% only fair, 4% poor, 24% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Lincoln Almond is doing as governor? 4% excellent, 30% good, 35% only fair, 17% poor, 14% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Robert Weygand is doing as lieutenant governor? 4% excellent, 26% good, 25% only fair, 4% poor, 41% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Jeff Pine is doing as attorney general? 17% excellent, 45% good, 20% only fair, 2% poor, 16% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Jim Langevin is doing as secretary of state? 5% excellent, 27% good, 21% only fair, 2% poor, 45% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Nancy Mayer is doing as general treasurer? 12% excellent, 35% good, 22% only fair, 3% poor, 28% don't know or no answer
If the election for U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were Republican Nancy Mayer and Democrat Jack Reed, would you vote for: 26% Mayer, 48% Reed, 26% don't know or no answer
If the election for U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were Republican Nancy Mayer and Democrat Joe Paolino, would you vote for: 48% Mayer, 25% Paolino, 27% don't know or no answer
Generally speaking, would you say things in Rhode Island are going in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track? 38% right direction, 49% wrong track, 13% don't know or no answer
There has been a proposal to build a new shopping mall in downtown Providence as part of the Capital Center development project. As part of the agreement, the developers would invest $350 million in private funds. The state would let the developers keep the first $6 million in annual sales tax revenues each year for 20 years as rent for spaces in the mall's parking garage. Under these terms, would you favor or oppose the construction of this new shopping mall? 25% favor, 66% oppose, 9% don't know or no answer
How much do you think this new shopping mall would benefit the Rhode Island economy? 10% a lot, 25% some, 58% not very much, 7% don't know or no answer
How would you rate Gov. Lincoln Almond's handling of the shopping mall issue? 3% excellent, 20% good, 30% only fair, 28% poor, 19% don't know or no answer
Based on what you currently know, do you believe O. J. Simpson is guilty or not guilty of murdering his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson? 58% guilty, 14% not guilty, 28% don't know or no answer
When his trial ends, do you believe the jury will find O.J. Simpson guilty or not guilty of murdering his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson? 15% guilty, 54% not guilty, 31% don't know or no answer