Poll: Voters Oppose Tax Hikes; Cicilline Takes a Hit

The new Brown University poll is out this morning and here's the topline: voters are, not surprisingly, opposed to the tax hikes and spending cuts Governor Chafee is proposing in his budget. And their already dim view of Congressman David Cicilline has taken a turn for the worse.

The poll, of 514 registered voters February 16-18, shows 68 percent opposed to $30 hikes in driver's license and registration fees, 57 percent opposed to tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, and 80 percent against hiking the meals and beverage tax from 7 to 10 percent.

Governor Chafee's approval ratings have also dipped, with 22 percent of voters rating his job performance "excellent" or "good," down from 27 percent in December and 32 percent in March 2011.

Cicilline's ratings, no doubt influenced by the renewed budget strife in Providence - where he served as mayor, until last year - took a dive: with 24 percent giving him "good" or "excellent" ratings in December and15 percent doing the same this month. I just asked Cicilline for reaction.

"I will continue to work every single day, as hard as I can to serve the people of this district and earn their support and ultimately, in November, their vote," he said.

The poll showed continued high ratings for Treasurer Gina Raimondo (58 percent, up from 52 percent in December) and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras (60 percent, up from 52 percent in December). The capital city's budget woes, it seems clear, have not yet rubbed off on Taveras. Indeed, his forthright handling of the fiscal crisis seems to get him ever-higher marks.

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