PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Democrat Frank Caprio leads independent candidate Lincoln Chafee by 12 percentage points in the race for Rhode Island governor, according to a new poll conducted by retired Rhode Island College Political Science Prof. Victor Profughi for Channel 10.
The telephone survey of 495 "randomly selected registered voters'' was conducted Sept. 15-17. It has a 4.7-percent margin of error.
In the race for governor, the poll by Profughi's Quest research shows Caprio with 36 percent to Chafee's 24 percent. Republican John Robitaille had 13 percent, and Moderate Party candidate Ken Block had 2 percent. One quarter of the respondents said they were undecided.
The results conflict with the findings of a Rasmussen Reports poll released a day earlier that showed Chafee leading Caprio 33 percent to 30 percent in a four-way race.
There was no immediate comment from the Caprio campaign, but the Chafee camp was quick to note that a September 2006 poll conducted by Profughi showed then Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey with "an overhwleming and seemingly inaccurate'' a 17-point lead over then U.S. Senator Licnoln D. Chafee in their Republican primary contest. Chafee won.
As an example of "how Profughi has been profoundly wrong,'' the Chafee camp also drew attention to Profughi's much more recent prediction that John Lombardi would win the Democratic primary in the Providence mayoral race last week.
"Doing less with traditional media than his opponents, but in the race the longest, his campaign appears well positioned for the primary,'' Profughi said of Lombardi, who ended up with 29 percent of the vote to Angel Taveras' 49 percent.
"In light of the Rasmussen poll last night, we find this poll to be highly suspect,'' said Chafee spokesman Mike Trainor.
Among Profughi's other findings: Independents were almost evenly split between the two leading candidates for governor, but Democrats favored Caprio 2 to 1; Caprio leads Chafee in most of Rhode Island, except in Washington County, where Chafee leads Caprio 33 percent to 19 percent.
The poll found Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts had a commanding lead of 44 percent over independent Robert Healey, 19 percent, and Republican Heidi Rogers, 11 percent. The poll was done before Rogers pulled out of the race. Twenty-six percent of the respondents said they were undecided.
The poll found Democrat Peter Kilmartin with 37 percent in the race for attorney general, well ahead of Republican Erik Wallin and independent Keven McKenna with 9 percent each. Moderate Chris Little and independent Rob Rainville had 3 percent each. However, 37 percent said they were undecided.
Incumbent Secretary of State Ralph Mollis has just over half the vote --- 52 percent --- compared to 23 percent for Republican Catherine Taylor. Another 23 percent said they were undecided.
In the 1st Congressional District, Providence Mayor David Cicilline is leading his Republican opponent by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1. Cicilline had 49 percent to Republican state Rep. John Loughlin's 26 percent. About 25 percent said they were undecided.
U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, the Democratic incumbent in the 2nd District, also had a commanding lead .