Raimondo will help Cicilline woo back key voter bloc: womenAugust 16th, 2012 at 9:54 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Cicilline released a list of more than 300 “Women for Cicilline” who will be leading his campaign’s outreach efforts among female voters, which will include a series of house parties that kicked off last night in Middletown. It comes on the heels of his endorsement by abortion-rights groups Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
And Cicilline has landed a big name as co-chair of the group: Treasurer Gina Raimondo, one of the two most popular politicians in the state. She’ll serve alongside Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts. The group also includes other familiar faces such as Myrth York and Grace Diaz.
Cicilline’s announcement lambasted House Republicans – and, implicitly, GOP vice-presidential pick Congressman Paul Ryan – for their “outrageous” policies: “voting to defund Planned Parenthood and undermine access to contraception to blocking legislation that would help women achieve equal pay for equal work and failing to support stronger protections under the Violence Against Women Act.”
Politically, the big push makes sense for Cicilline.
The final WPRI 12 poll before he won his seat in 2010 showed 51% of women backing him, but the latest poll in February found their support for him down to 37%, giving Republican Brendan Doherty a 7-point lead. For the Democratic primary, Cicilline was 10 points ahead of Anthony Gemma among women in a May WPRI 12 poll.
Cicilline campaign manager Eric Hyers told WPRI.com the long list of women includes individuals from every city and town in the 1st District, and he echoed the candidate’s critique of the House GOP Doherty wants to join. “Our grassroots operation is going to continue working hard to let women know just what is at stake in this election,” Hyers said.
The Doherty campaign has its own Women for Doherty Coalition, which it said in June has a leadership team of 27 and more than 200 members – though the Republican didn’t release a long list of names the way Cicilline did Wednesday. Doherty, who is anti-abortion, declared at the time: “If there is a war on women, I’ll be leading the charge in their defense.”
Doherty campaign manager Ian Prior told RIPR his candidate is “a social conservative, but he’s not a social crusader,” saying he opposes federal funding of abortions but would not support limiting access to contraceptives. In a staunchly Democratic district like the 1st, though, Doherty won’t be helped by spending a lot of time discussing social issues.
(photo: Cicilline’s office)