If you believe the polls that Democrats are paying for, Congressman David Cicilline may be getting the same post-convention bounce as Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a second survey on Wednesday showing Cicilline with a lead over Republican Brendan Doherty. The phone interview poll by Benenson Strategy Group put Cicilline at 46%, Doherty at 35% and independent David Vogel at 8%, with 11% undecided. A DCCC robo-poll last week put Cicilline at 49% and Doherty at 43%.
The DCCC released a memo [pdf] detailing the poll’s results but refused to release the survey’s full contents after more information was requested by WPRI.com.
Doherty’s campaign, which warned Tuesday about what it called “misleading” questions being asked by pollsters in the 1st District, hasn’t released its own internal polling but dismissed the Democrats’ findings. “We’ve done our own poll, we’re up, and we’re not concerned with numbers coming from misleading push polls coming from Cicilline or DCCC trying to boost his fundraising efforts,” a Doherty aide told WPRI.com.
Benenson is a respected Demcoratic polling firm that’s also done work for President Obama’s campaign and Engage Rhode Island, the Rhode Island group that backed pension changes last year. The DCCC poll also showed Obama with a 30-point lead over Mitt Romney and Democratic U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse with a 37-point lead over Republican challenger Barry Hinckley in the 1st District.
“The district’s Democratic leanings present a formidable obstacle to Cicilline’s Republican challenger, particularly in an environment where the presidential election can be expected to dominate political coverage,” Benenson’s Danny Franklin wrote in the DCCC memo.
The Benenson poll’s most interesting finding may be that 8% of 1st District voters say they’ll support the little-known independent Vogel in November rather than one of the major-party candidates, which could damage Doherty if Vogel peels off too much of the anti-Cicilline vote.
Tim White contributed to this report.