PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., is locked in a tight race with Republican challenger Brendan Doherty, according to a new survey by Brown University that shows Cicilline inching in front of Doherty despite poor ratings of his job performance in Congress.
Cicilline leads Doherty, the former state police superintendent, 46 percent to 40 percent in the survey, which was conducted between September 26 and October 5. Due to a small sample size of only 236 registered voters, the survey has a margin of error of 6.3 percent.
Cicilline, a first-term congressman, represents one of most Democratic districts in the country, but Republicans are contesting it this fall. The former mayor of Providence has been saddled by the city's fiscal meltdown, which was revealed after he won his House seat. Doherty has accused Cicilline of intentionally misleading voters on the trail -- and in a blistering new TV ad airing here that features Cicilline claiming the city's fiscal health was "excellent" in 2010.
The attacks have taken their toll on Cicilline. Among all Rhode Island voters, 36 percent said he is doing a poor job in Congress, compared to only 30 percent who describe his job performance as "excellent" or "good" An additional 27 percent say he's doing only a "fair" job. Still, in a Democratic district that voted two-thirds for President Obama four years ago, Cicilline is holding a narrow lead a month out from Election Day.