Tolls Having a Toll On Voter’s Opinion of State’s Future?


Interesting results from a poll commissioned by Bryant University’s Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership and carried out by Fleming & Associates. Rhode Islander’s view of the state’s future is trending downward.

A new survey of 403 registered Rhode Island voters shows only 31% think the state is heading in the right direction, while 50% now say it’s headed in the wrong direction. Less than a year ago, in September, it was a different story – voters were evenly split, with only 40% saying the state was moving in the wrong direction.

It is notable that this trend started in September when the state’s economy (purportedly) was improving. Could this public pessimism be a result of General Assembly leadership jamming through Governor Raimondo’s highly destructive toll plan last session? Pollster Joe Fleming lists that as one of the potential causes.

Fleming suggested voters are less concerned with the economy as it’s improved but have been alarmed by controversies at the State House such as the debate over truck tolls, the tourism campaign debacle, and the resignation of former House Finance Committee Chairman Ray Gallison amid a law enforcement probe.