State leadership graded poorly in new voter poll - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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State leadership graded poorly in new voter poll

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

mcurtis@abc6.com

There is no skating around the issue, Rhode Island leaders appear on this ice.

A new study says 82 percent of registered voters believe state leadership is fair or poor:

"Poor, poor, very poor, because the economy. We're still having trouble finding jobs in this state," said one resident at Kennedy Plaza.

"I would say fair, but it should be great, you know?" said another voter.

"Extremely poor, because we've got too much corruption that goes on in this state," said a third voter.

The poll was conducted for the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "One big question remains: Does a poll like this really matter. Well, it is an election year, so it could."

The poll does not mention any current state leaders or candidates for office, but there are likely some lessons for politicians and voters alike.

"You would not hire somebody to be a CEO of a company unless you thought that CEO would do a good job for the stakeholders. The same is true for government. We ought not be electing people that we don't have confidence in, will do a good job," said Gary Sasse, Founder of the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University.

If the poll had a silver lining, it's that people gave their local leaders higher marks than state officials.

Pollsters say it matters when trash gets picked up; the show is shoveled; or, someone responds to problems.

"They contact their local officials a lot more than they do state officials. You know they see how responsive the local officials are how accessible they are; how they are with problem solving," said Joe Fleming, of Fleming and Associates, who conducted the poll.

Hundreds of state and local candidates are likely to look at the poll for guidance, this election year.

 

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