Republican Brendan Doherty’s team thinks he’s now leading Democratic incumbent David Cicilline in the 1st Congressional District. Unsurprisingly, Cicilline’s campaign strongly disagrees.
A survey commissioned by the Republican’s campaign and released Saturday afternoon shows Doherty at 45%, Cicilline at 39% and independent David Vogel at 6%, with 11% of voters undecided. The telephone interview poll of 400 likely voters was conducted Wednesday and Thursday. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.9 percentage points.
The poll was conducted by OnMessage Inc., a GOP consulting firm employed by Doherty’s campaign that previously worked for former Gov. Donald Carcieri. The question is whether it’s accurate. The OnMessage poll’s findings are far from outside the realm of possibility, but there are two reasons to be somewhat skeptical.
First, the firm didn’t release the party affiliation of its voting sample, which is a concern because its Sept. 13-14 poll may have interviewed too few Democrats to accurately capture the district. Second, the poll shows Mitt Romney winning 34% of the vote in the 1st District, which is 7 points better than his showing in the Sept. 26-29 WPRI 12 poll. It’s possible Romney has seen a significant bounce in the staunchly Democratic district over the last month, but far from certain.
The picture should become clearer when the new WPRI 12 poll is released next week. Roll Call’s Joshua Miller has more on the OnMessage survey. Separately on Saturday, Cicilline’s campaign sent out a recorded phone call with Bill Clinton endorsing Cicilline to 50,000 voters in the district. Listen here.