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Is Gemma a Lock in November?

Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma is touting punditry out of DC publications Roll Call and The Hill suggesting he'd be a better candidate in a general election match-up with Republican Brendan Doherty than incumbent Congressman David Cicilline.

But would he really be a lock come November?

Gemma would, no doubt, have one significant advantage: he's doesn't come with the incumbent's heavy baggage.

But Cicilline clearly gets the edge in other areas: campaign experience, political skills, and Democratic bona fides in what promises to be a highly partisan campaign season.

Gemma is still a relative novice - making it harder to exploit Doherty's obvious weaknesses as a first-time candidate. And he is a moderate, making the contrast with Doherty less pronounced.

Indeed, in a Gemma-Doherty race that is less about partisan concerns and more about character, Doherty's stature as Rhode Island's straight-shooting top cop arguably takes on more importance.

The counter-argument, of course, is that Doherty's truth-telling image serves as a strong counter to Cicilline's reputation as a misleading pol. Perhaps.

But if Gemma, on balance, has a better shot at holding the seat for Democrats in November, his edge may not be as pronounced as the DC pundits would suggest.

 

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