And to the Left?

Amid all the talk of Congressman David Cicilline's vulnerability, he seems safe - at the moment - on at least one flank: the left.

I just spoke with former State Representative David Segal, who ran to Cicilline's left last year, and he all but ruled out of a Democratic primary challenge to the incumbent in 2012. Political insiders say they've heard no serious rumblings from other progressives.

The relative quiet on the left is good news for Cicilline. But it's not a clear-cut win.

It's unlikely that a progressive insurgent could actually beat Cicilline, who has been solidly liberal in Congress. But he or she could take away votes from the incumbent in a Democratic primary and make life a bit easier on a third Democrat with more moderate politics.

Still, if no one fills the lefty slot, that makes it a bit more likely that Cicilline would wind up in a one-on-one matchup with a centrist Democrat. And while moderates traditionally don't fare well in Democratic primaries, with their liberal electorates, a one-on-one matchup with a credible opponent of any stripe would still spell trouble for Ciclline. After all, he couldn't count on multiple opponents to split the anti-incumbent vote.

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