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GOP Claims Loughlin Leading in Poll

Former ProJo scribe Steve Peoples, now with DC-based CQ, has a piece on GOP claims that its polling shows Republican John Loughlin leading Democrat David Cicilline in their race for Congress:

Republicans are growing increasingly optimistic they may be able to steal the Rhode Island seat long held by retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D).

The National Republican Congressional Committee released internal polling Friday afternoon that showed the race between Providence Mayor David Cicilline (D) and state Rep. John Loughlin (R) effectively tied.

Many believed that Cicilline would have a relatively easy victory in the heavily Democratic Ocean State. But the Public Opinion Strategies poll found that the mayor has high negatives and earns just 41 percent support among 300 likely voters surveyed Oct. 20-21. Loughlin also earned 41 percent in the poll that had a 5.6-point margin of error.

Among those most likely to vote, Loughlin was ahead 45 percent to 41 percent, according to pollster Gene Ulm, who said the margin of error for this groups exceeds 6 points.

"The message is starting to take hold," said an excited Loughlin in an interview. "We're seeing the undecided voters starting to break in our direction."

Loughlin has trailed by his Democratic opponent by double digits in every public poll released to date.

"It's impossible to take these numbers seriously," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Shripal Shah. "Voters know that they can't afford John Loughlin's anti-Social Security agenda and that's a message that will be delivered loud and clear in 11 days; he's wrong on the issues and wrong for Rhode Island."

Loughlin, a state representative with a military background, has struggled to raise money for much of the cycle, but went up with his first television ads this week and will be up through Election Day.

The Rhode Island contest has yet to draw any outside spending from conservative groups, like dozens of other competitive districts across the country. If outside groups believe this race has really tightened, however, that could change.

 

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