As former ProJo scribe Steve Peoples notes in a piece for CQ, businessman and Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma's attacks on frontrunner David Cicilline are about the best GOP Congressional hopeful John J. Loughlin II could have hoped for this primary season.
Gemma's blistering ads, fueled by heavy personal expenditures, are creating the sort of divisive Democratic primary that many had predicted at the outset, but which seemed destined to go by the boards.
With the general election only seven weeks away, some of Gemma's messaging will linger if Cicilline emerges with the Democratic nomination. But its long-term impact will hinge, in part, on how much of Loughlin's message dovetails with Gemma's critique of Cicilline as failed leader of Providence.
Loughlin knows he has to win big in the suburbs if he is to pull off an upset in November. So tying Cicilline closely to his native Providence, and criticizing his leadership of that city, makes sense.
Of course if one of Cicilline's Democratic opponents pulls off an upset tomorrow, Gemma's attacks will do little to help Loughlin.