A new GOP poll found Republican Brendan Doherty leading Rep. David Cicilline (D) by 6 points in the hard fought and bitterly nasty race for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional district.
The respected Republican firm OnMessage conducted a survey of likely voters for Doherty, which found him leading Cicilline 45 percent to 39 percent in a horse race matchup. Six percent of those polled said they would vote for independent candidate David Vogel, while 11 percent remained undecided.
Forty-two percent had a favorable view of Doherty, a retired state police officer, while 33 percent had an unfavorable view. Thirty-nine percent had a favorable view of Cicilline, while 46 percent had an unfavorable view of him.
President Barack Obama received 55 percent to Mitt Romney’s 34 percent in a ballot test in the poll, underscoring the district’s Democratic leanings.
The race appears to have turned significantly more competitive in recent days. The independent expenditure arms of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee have both bought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ad time covering the final days of the campaign.
Cicilline campaign manager Eric Hyers said the poll was a distraction.
“Brendan Doherty has run one of nastiest and negative races in recent memory,” he wrote in an email. “He is trying to distract from the fact he is a Romney Republican who has the backing of national Republicans, and will, as President Bill Clinton said today in a robo-call, ‘be just another vote for those Republicans.’ That poll resembles nothing we have seen, and actually every public poll done so far has shown David ahead.”
Roll Call rates the race as Leans Democratic.
The GOP poll, conducted by live telephone interview on Oct. 24 and 25, surveyed 400 likely voters in the district. It had a margin of error of 4.9 points.
Here is the full GOP polling memo: