scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Rhode Islanders approve of Governor Raimondo way more than they do of President Trump

The governor’s approval rate has stayed above 60 percent, while the president’s has hovered in the 20-percent range since late May

Surrounded by three emergency room doctors, Gov. Gina Raimondo pleads with Rhode Islanders to be more cautious during a press conference on Nov. 12. (David DelPoio/Pool)David DelPoio, Pool/David DelPoio

If you have friends or relatives who would like their own free copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here.


Happy Friday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I can’t even describe how excited I am that Durk’s Bar-B-Q reopens in its new location today (where the Satin Doll used to be). Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 40,764 confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, after adding 936 new cases. The overall daily test-positive rate was 4.7 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 26.7 percent. The state announced seven more deaths, bringing the total to 1,250. There were 232 people in the hospital.


You might feel like throwing your slipper (no one’s wearing shoes these days, right?) at the television every week when Governor Gina Raimondo explains that you need knock it off with the social gatherings to stop the spread of COVID-19, but you should know that her approval ratings remain among the highest in the country.

A survey from the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States pegged Raimondo’s approval rating at 61 percent in October, good for sixth-best in the country.

The consortium, which includes researchers from Harvard, Northeastern, Rutgers, and Northwestern, has now polled residents in every state on what they think of their governor eight times since April, and Raimondo has never fallen below 60 percent.

Raimondo’s support has dipped since peaking at 74 percent in late April, which is a similar trend for most governors. One exception is Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican who hit 80 percent approval in October and rolled to reelection last week.

You can read the whole survey here, but here’s a look at how Raimondo has fared each month.


Late April: 74 percent

Early May: 72 percent

Late May: 66 percent

Late June: 63 percent

Late July: 71 percent

Late August: 60 percent

September: 62 percent

October: 61 percent

For the October numbers, Raimondo trailed Vermont’s Scott, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (68 percent), Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (65 percent), New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (65 percent), and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (61 percent). Scott, Hogan, and Baker are Republicans, while Muphy, Lamont, and Raimondo are Democrats.

The national average for approval rating among governors is 48 percent, which is significantly higher than President Trump 35 percent approval rating when it comes to handling the virus. In Rhode Island, Trump’s approval has been in the 20s since late May. 

Late April: 39 percent

Early May: 31 percent

Late May: 17 percent

Late June: 25 percent

Late July: 26 percent

Late August: 21 percent

September: 27 percent

October: 26 percent

Over the course of eight online surveys, the consortium has polled 119,755 individuals across every state as well as Washington, D.C. The most recent poll was conducted between Oct. 2 and Oct. 25, and the margin of error in Rhode Island was plus or minus 7 percentage points.


⚓ Governor Gina Raimondo is warning that Rhode Island could run out of hospital beds in the next three weeks as COVID-19 cases continue to hit record levels. Read more.

⚓ With more progressives getting elected to the General Assembly, Ed Fitzpatrick reports that the state may finally start getting serious about addressing climate change. Read more.

⚓ If you’re looking to shop local for gifts this holiday season, the Globe offers some ideas from New England’s best shops. Read more.


⚓ Scott MacKay, one of the most-respected voices in Rhode Island political journalism, announced on Twitter that he is retiring as a political commentator for The Public’s Radio. Read more.

⚓ Rhode Map readers have sent a round of Happy Birthday wishes to: Michael DiBiaseJoy FoxKarina Holyoak WoodDaisy Louise Carey (90), Ryan HoltDave TalanFelicia Brown ReedAly Chatham (32), Lauren NoceraStephanie Downey ToledoTara Granahan, state Representative-elect Jackie BaginskiDesiree Schuler (49), Rob HorowitzDan DenvirGerard Marzilli Jr. (44), Kate Coyne-McCoyAndrew PosnerDr. Pablo Rodriguez, and Michael Horvath.


⚓ Politics I: It turns out that the woman who ran President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign is from Massachusetts. Here’s a closer look at Jennifer O’Malley DillonRead more.

⚓ Politics II: My colleague James Pindell explains why US Senator Bernie Sanders would not have defeated President Trump if he was the Democratic nominee this year. Read more.

⚓ Lifestyle: We’ve got an excellent guide for how to rescue the holidays during the pandemic. Read more.

⚓ Sports: It’s rainy and miserable outside, so why not take a deep dive into the farm system for the Red Sox. Alex Speier breaks down the team’s top prospects. Read more.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at

⚓ The state’s COVID-19 vaccine subcommittee is holding a virtual meeting this morning.

⚓ The Providence Preservation Society’s 2020 Symposium continues today at 3 p.m. with a virtual discussion on who decides what properties and landmarks are worth saving. It’s free, but you have to register by 10 a.m.


⚓The Globe is hosting a virtual self-care session at 10 a.m.

⚓ Do you ❤ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here

Dan McGowan can be reached at Follow him @danmcgowan.