A new poll from Brown University's Taubman Center for Public Policy finds Attorney General Patrick Lynch's job performance rating down nine points from May and Treasurer Frank Caprio's down two.
Thirty-eight percent of voters in the survey, conducted December 4-6, said Lynch was doing a "good" or "excellent" job, compared to 47 percent in May. Caprio, who has been running a remarkably early campaign of radio and television ads, saw his numbers drop from 41 percent to 39 percent. Both men are gearing up for Democratic runs for governor.
The dips are part of what looks like a broader anti-incumbent feeling amid a still-disastrous economy and an increasingly unpopular push for health care reform. President Obama's job performance rating dropped sharply, from 74 percent to 53 percent, in just seven months. And Senator Jack Reed, probably the most popular politician in the state, has seen his number drop below 60 percent - to 56 percent - for the first time in a string of Taubman polls dating back to 2005.
The poll also finds moderate support for health care reform and the war in Afghanistan among Rhode Island voters. And the high-profile tiff over health care and abortion between Patrick Kennedy and Bishop Tobin seems to have done little to shift public opinion of the Congressman. In fact, Bishop Tobin came out a little worse in the poll.
Still, Kennedy's job performance rating is lower than that of any other member of the state's Congressional delegation, with 37 percent saying he does a "good" or "excellent" job. And yet, Congressman Jim Langevin - the other Rhode Island member of the House - continues to draw the primary challenges. The Kennedy name, and the money it can command, still inspires fear. It'll be interesting to see if that's still the case in 5 or 10 years.