State and National Public Survey, June 1995

June 18-21, 1995
N=426 Registered Voters
Margin of Error: +/- 5 %

Would you say that over the past year, Rhode Island's economy has gotten better, stayed about the same, or gotten worse? 9% gotten better, 43% stayed about the same, 45% gotten worse, 3% don't know or no answer

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? 16% get better, 46% stay the same, 32% get worse, 6% 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: 34% better off, 41% worse off financially than you were a year ago, 25% 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: 26% better off financially, 12% worse off, 56% just about the same as now, 6% 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: 22% good times financially, 51% 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: 21% we'll have continuous good times during the next five years or so, 59% that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, 20% 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, 26% bad time for people to buy major household items, 23% don't know or no answer

How would you rate the job Bill Clinton is doing as president? 3% excellent, 37% good, 44% only fair, 15% poor, 1% don't know or no answer

How would you rate the job Claiborne Pell is doing as U.S. Senator? 11% excellent, 34% good, 33% only fair, 12% poor, 10% don't know or no answer

How would you rate the job John Chafee is doing as U.S. Senator? 9% excellent, 41% good, 30% only fair, 8% poor, 12% don't know or no answer

How would you rate the job Patrick Kennedy is doing as U.S. Representative? 6% excellent, 33% good, 27% only fair, 9% poor, 25% don't know or no answer (first congressional district only)

How would you rate the job Jack Reed is doing as U.S. Representative? 9% excellent, 40% good, 22% only fair, 4% poor, 25% don't know or no answer (second congressional district only)

How would you rate the job Lincoln Almond is doing as governor? 7% excellent, 37% good, 24% only fair, 17% poor, 15% don't know or no answer

How would you rate the job Robert Weygand is doing as lieutenant governor? 4% excellent, 29% good, 20% only fair, 4% poor, 43% don't know or no answer

How would you rate the job Jeff Pine is doing as attorney general? 20% excellent, 44% good, 17% only fair, 4% poor, 15% don't know or no answer

How would you rate the job Jim Langevin is doing as secretary of state? 3% excellent, 26% good, 17% only fair, 4% poor, 50% don't know or no answer

How would you rate the job Nancy Mayer is doing as general treasurer? 15% excellent, 33% good, 19% only fair, 5% poor, 28% 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? 45% right direction, 45% wrong track, 10% don't know or no answer

As far as you are concerned, what is the most important problem facing the state of Rhode Island today? (open-ended responses coded as 29% jobs and unemployment, 14% the economy, 11% the budget, 9% ethics and corruption, 6% taxes, all others under 5%)

For most Rhode Islanders, do you think the American Dream of equal opportunity, personal freedom, and social mobility has become easier or harder to achieve in the past 10 years? 26% easier, 65% harder, 9% don't know or no answer

As far as people in charge of running each of the following are concerned, would you say that you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them?

a) small businesses: 28% a great deal, 51% only some, 12% hardly any, 9% don't know or no answer

b) big businesses: 15% a great deal, 45% only some, 32% hardly any, 8% don't know or no answer

c) labor unions: 6% a great deal, 28% only some, 52% hardly any, 14% don't know or no answer

d) state government: 6% a great deal, 50% only some, 38% hardly any, 6% don't know or no answer

Do you think businesses in Rhode Island have too much influence over government policy, too little influence, or just about the right amount of influence? 36% too much, 26% just about right, 22% too little, 16% don't know or no answer

Do you think labor unions in Rhode Island have too much influence over government policy, too little influence, or just about the right amount of influence? 52% too much, 21% just about right, 12% too little, 15% don't know or no answer

The state of Rhode Island faces a substantial deficit in its fiscal budget. By law, it is required to eliminate this deficit, Which of the following items would you support or oppose to close this deficit?

a) shut down nonessential aspects of state government for one or more days next year: 73% support, 15% oppose, 12% don't know or no answer

b) eliminate across-the-board pay raises for state employees: 63% support, 29% oppose, 8% don't know or no answer

c) eliminate pay raises for top managers in state government: 80% support, 15% oppose, 5% don't know or no answer

d) freeze state employee wages by suspending the next round of longevity pay increases: 58% support, 31% oppose, 11% don't know or no answer

e) launch a work force reduction for state workers: 58% support, 28% oppose, 14% don't know or no answer

f) eliminate low-priority programs: 49% support, 29% oppose, 22% don't know or no answer

g) reduce state pensions for future retirees: 52% support, 38% oppose, 10% don't know or no answer

h) require state employees to contribute to their health care costs? 79% support, 16% oppose, 5% don't know or no answer

Regardless of how you vote, do you usually think of yourself as a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or something else? 13% Republican, 24% Democrat, 53% Independent, 7% Other, 3% don't know or no answer

Are you a member of a union or teachers association? 21% yes, 77% no, 2% don't know or no answer

Darrell M. West, Thomas J. Anton, and Jack Combs