Romney's 47 percent comment. President Obama's deadly performance in the first debate. Hundreds of millions spent on ads. And none of it mattered. That's the conclusion of University of Rhode Island political science professor Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz in a new piece in Pacific Standard magazine.
We all know that most voters decide who to vote for well before the campaigns begin.
In my post-mortem on the Cicilline-Doherty race in last week's Phoenix, I noted that while turnout in the First Congressional District race was lower than it was in the last presidential year (2008), the drop-off was not as steep in a handful of key Democratic bastions - Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls.
That could explain, in part, why Congressman Cicilline racked up a far larger margin of victory - 12 points - than the polls predicted.
Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson, co-authors of the acclaimed The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, made an appearance at Brown University this spring.
Skocpol argued, at the time, that the media - which considered the Tea Party so 2010 - was underestimating its continued influence. The Tea Party, she argued, had forced the Republican presidential primary - including ostensible moderate Mitt Romney - to the right.
With just three weeks to go before election day, Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty scored a neat little coup: winning a joint a statement of support from former Republican Senator Alan Simpson and former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton Erskine Bowles.
Simpson and Bowles, of course, co-chaired a commission appointed by President Obama that aimed to craft a bi-partisan solution to the nation's debt problem, combining cuts and new tax revenue.
I spoke with Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty's always gracious campaign manager Ian Prior this morning for my post-mortem on the GOPer's loss to Congressman David Cicilline (that post-mortem will appear in this week's issue of the Phoenix).
He said a few interesting things that didn't make it into my piece.
A WPRI-TV poll released October 30 had Congressman David Cicilline clinging to a one-point lead over his Republican challenger as the campaign entered its home stretch. And it was hardly the only survey suggesting a tight race.
The television station conducted a poll a month earlier that gave Cicilline a 6-point lead. A Brown University poll released shortly thereafter found the same gap.
There are some obvious cities, towns, and regions to watch in the race between Congressman David Cicilline and Republican Brendan Doherty. Cicilline has to do very well in Providence and Pawtucket. Doherty needs to improve on Republican Congressional candidate John J. Loughlin's 2010 performance in the Blackstone Valley.
Congressman David Cicilline's battle with Republican challenger Brendan Doherty is expected to come down to the wire today. And if it's as close as the polls would suggest, then this winter's once-per-decade redistricting process, which tilted Cicilline's district to the left, could make all the difference.
Among the most important changes: the addition of the heavily Latino south side of Providence to Cicilline's district.
Republican Brendan Doherty's campaign has always maintained that his race against Congressman David Cicilline would be won and lost in October.
In October, he would spend his money. In October, he would roll out his big attacks.
When a pair of public polls conducted in late September and early October showed Cicilline up by six points - a 21-point swing since February, when the incumbent trailed Doherty by 15 - some observers suggested the October strategy was a mistake.
Congressman David Cicilline, under attack from Brendan Doherty and the National Republican Campaign Committee for representing "rapists, pedophiles, and murderers" as a private attorney 20 years ago, is hitting back.
A new radio spot draws audio from a robocall former President Bill Clinton recorded on Cicilline's behalf, calling the Democrat an "innovative" former mayor who would defend women's health.
A new WPRI poll gives Congressman David Cicilline a razor-thin lead of 43-42 over Republican challenger Brendan Doherty. He had a 6-point edge in a survey the television station conducted a month ago.
This is the first independent, public poll conducted wholly after Doherty put up ads attacking Cicilline - and the first indication that they may be moving voters.
Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty won the Providence Journal's endorsement yesterday.
It was an important stamp of approval for the GOP challenger, even if the state's paper of record is not the force it once was. But I was most struck by the tepid quality of its endorsement - and what the piece said about Rhode Island's deep ambivalence about this race.
The parallels between the presidential race and the local clash pitting Providence mayor-turned-Congressman David Cicilline and his Republican challenger Brendan Doherty have been evident for some time.
Back in June, I wrote about Cicilline's critical play for women voters, part of a broader strategy to build up his margins among key demographic groups - including Latinos and younger voters.
When I heard a couple of days ago that Cranston's Board of Canvassers was denying a ballot to a voter it deemed mentally ill, I had a bit of deja vu.
I was once a reporter for the Providence Journal, where I covered Cranston City Hall. And one of the most interesting stories I worked on involved the board, led by the blunt and bareknuckled chairman Joseph A.
Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty entered his Tuesday night debate with Congressman David Cicilline on a bit of a hot streak.
Campaign finance filings show Doherty has more than twice as much cash on hand for the homestretch of the campaign. And the morning of the debate, he released a joint statement of support from former Republican Senator Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton (this AP story raises questions about whether the statement of support is really a full-fledged endorsement, but it counts as a coup, nonetheless).