Decision 2014: Raimondo has lead in Democratic primary race
Gina Raimondo is the new leader in the Democratic race for governor and political newcomer Clay Pell is quickly gaining ground, according to a poll conducted by WPRI and The Providence Journal.
The poll was based on a telephone survey of a random sample of 503 registered voters.
Raimondo had 32.2 percent of respondents while Angel Taveras was in second with 26.8 percent, and Clay Pell in third with 25.6 percent. Todd Giroux was last with 1.4 percent. According to the poll, 12.9 percent remain undecided.
"The poll tells me that people like the message which is it's time to get Rhode Island back to work. That's what I'm saying. That's why I'm running for governor," Raimondo said.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who in the spring held a lead over Raimondo, is in second place. But he said that won't be permanent.
"We've got 20 days to go. We've been outspent this summer 2 or 3 to 1 and going down the home stretch we have a chance to really get our message out there," Taveras said.
Clay Pell is nipping at Taveras's heels. He has more than doubled his support from the spring.
"That's what this poll shows. That we have energy, we have momentum. And we've put forward a real plan to move this state forward," Pell said.
All of the candidates participated in a campaign forum Wednesday at the Rhode Island Convention Center focused on the state's hospitality industry and the role it can play as an economic driver. The two-hour forum was sponsored by the Rhode Island Hospitality Association and NBC 10's Dan Jaehnig was the moderator.
With three weeks from the primary, the race is anybody's to win.
"At the end of the day, the primary will be decided by the ground game, who gets their supporters to the polls in the biggest numbers. With a race this tight, that is really going to determine the winner," said NBC 10 Political Analyst Wendy Schiller.
All of the candidates claim their organizations are well prepared to get out the vote.