New Republican poll gives Doherty 6-point edge over Cicilline

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.

• Related: GOP to spend $280K on TV push (Oct. 26) | Dems counter GOP with $315K ad buy (Oct. 26)

2 thoughts on “New Republican poll gives Doherty 6-point edge over Cicilline

  1. I miss the tradition of not covering partisan poll results unless all the background data regarding methodology, sample size and questions are made available as well.

  2. Col. Doherty claims of fiscal toughness untrue with 46% Increase In State Police Budget in 3 years of his administration

    For the 3 full fiscal years of Colonel Brendan Doherty’s administration of the State Police (FY2008 to FY2010) that unit’s budget increased by 46% (a rate of 15.4% per year) while the whole Rhode Island State Budget only increased by 10% (a rate of 3.8% per year.) The State Police increase was over 400% (4 times) higher than the overall budget increase.
    These calculations are based on figures from the Program and Personnel Supplements of the Rhode Island Budget as available on the State of Rhode Island Budget Office website at and and use the actual expenditures from all accounts as reported in the budgets for years following these three years. The “Doherty For Congress” website reports he served as Colonel from April 07 to April 11, so the FY2008 was his first full fiscal year and the FY2010 was his last full fiscal year (as FY2011 lasted until June 30, 2011.) Also the Budget Personnel Supplements indicated that the Personnel count for the State Police (in FTE’s or Full Time Equivilants) in these three budgets increased by one 1 from 272 to 273, so these budget increases do not appear to have resulted in a 46% increase in protection of the taxpayers or more jobs for Rhode Islanders

    State Budget
    FY2008 Expenditures – $6,928,024,941
    FY2009 Expenditures – $7,204,729,372
    FY2010 Expenditures – $7,708,933,707
    Total Increase – $780,908,766 Percentage Increase – 11.3%
    State Police Budget
    FY2008 Expenditures – $56,125,211
    FY2009 Expenditures – $62,171,879
    FY2010 Expenditures – $82,044,329
    Total Increase – $25,919,118 Percentage Increase – 46.2%

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