Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 22, 2014

Rhode Island: Brendan Doherty Cuts Back on TV

Rhode Island: Brendan Doherty Cuts Back on TV

Democratic Rep. David Cicilline is facing a spirited challenge from Republican Brendan Doherty. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:45 p.m. | Republican Brendan Doherty has reduced his television advertising reservations for the last weeks of his bid to oust Rep. David Cicilline (D) in Rhode Island’s 1st district.

Providence CBS affiliate WPRI first reported the news of the reservation reduction. The Doherty camp thinned its final two-week buy from $326,000 to $202,000, according to a GOP source. A Democratic source confirmed the cutback to Roll Call. This is not the same sort of ad movement as a committee pulling out of a race, but it does display a change in calculation on the part of the Doherty campaign.

The Doherty campaign could not immediately be reached for comment.

Here is how ad spending tallies look as of today, per a GOP source who tracks media buys:

Cicilline

  • Spent-to-date: $418,000
  • Future reservations: $295,000
  • Projected total: $713,000

Doherty 

  • Spent-to-date: $310,000
  • Future reservations: $335,000
  • Projected total: $645,000

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also put in an additional $265,000 to support Doherty, which means Republicans have outspent Democrats so far in this race. The individual campaigns have also benefited from coordinated resources with the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Democrats smell blood based on the news of the Doherty pullback. Still, national Republicans maintained confidence in Doherty, pointing to the fact that he reported more than twice the cash-on-hand advantage of Cicilline in his Federal Election Commission quarterly disclosure.

“We feel very strongly about this race. This is certainly a competitive race,” NRCC spokesman Nat Sillin said. “The strength of Brendan Doherty’s fundraising speaks for itself. We think Brendan is going to win.”

This is a Leans Democratic race. The nature of this district is strongly Democratic, but Cicilline has had to deal with the political implications of budget problems from during his time as Providence mayor.

Updated 2:45 p.m.

Cicilline also might well be having problems meeting the cost of his advertising reservations, at least according to the wording of a fundraising appeal he emailed to supporters.

“This week, I need to raise $40,000 in order to meet my goals and keep my ads up on television,” he wrote in a donation solicitation email to supporters.

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