Poll: McKee’s approval rating for handling pandemic at 44%

RHODE ISLAND Gov. Daniel J. McKee’s approval rating for how he handled the COVID-19 remains below most fellow New England governors, according to a new poll from the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States. / STEVEN SENNE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Daniel J. McKee’s approval rating for how he’s handled the pandemic is below all but one New England governor but above the national average, according to a new poll from the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States. 

Of 421 Rhode Island residents surveyed online between Aug. 11 and Sept. 7, 44.4% said they approved of McKee’s handling of the pandemic, just above fellow Democrat and Maine Gov. Janet Mills, who had the lowest approval rating in the region at 43.3%.  

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, had the highest approval rating at 59%. His fellow GOP governors in the region all scored higher than their Democratic counterparts. Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker had a 53.6% approval rating, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont was at 51.5% and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu had a 46.3% approval rating. 

The consortium, which includes researchers from Harvard, Northeastern, Rutgers and Northwestern, has surveyed approximately 20,000 people in each state 20 different times since the pandemic since April 2020. A total of 421 people in each state were surveyed in this latest poll. 

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McKee’s highest approval rating was 59.6% in June 2021. Former R.I. Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, also a Democrat, had approval ratings above 70% three times before she left office to become U.S. secretary of commerce in March 2021: 74% in April 2020, 73% in Early May 2020 and 71.4% in late June 2020. 

Across the U.S., the national average was 39% in this latest survey, following a trend of declines from 63.7% when the first poll was conducted in April 2020. 

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