I met Brendan Doherty in late August, and I have been meaning to write up another post calling attention to the critical race.  Doherty is on the Operation Counterweight final list.

But … one thing after another has exploded on this blog week after week, and well, it’s September 27.

David Cicilline has been a focus here repeatedly.  He is the former Mayor of Providence who beat a viable Republican candidate in 2010 for the seat vacated by Patrick Kennedy by concealing the abysmal finances of Providence and by running a Scare Grandma campaign.

Cicilline is a caricature, a male version of Debbie Wasserman-Shultz.

Cicilline is vulnerable even in this heavily Democratic district because of the Providence disaster.  But it’s far, far from certain that he will be defeated.

In Rhode Island voters can check a box at the top of the ballot to vote straight party line.  It allows the Democratic majority to have voters vote for the “D” rather than the candidate.  It is a huge below the surface problem  Not surprisingly, Cicilline is trying to play the party line card.

Cicilline also is a shameless campaigner. In 2010 he took a bus tour of senior citizens centers falsely claiming they might not get their checks if Republicans took over.

Doherty is a stand up guy, a former Superintendent of the State Police.

Cicilline played mind games earlier in the month by releasing internal polls supposedly showing him ahead, but this is a winnable race for Doherty.  Via WPRI’s Ted Nesi:

Cook Political Report editor and Rhode Island native Jennifer Duffy is somewhat skeptical about the Benenson Strategy Group’s new DCCC-commissioned 1st District poll, which gave David Cicilline a double-digit lead, despite her respect for the polling firm. First off, she’s surprised unknown independent David Vogel is polling 8%. Second, she thinks Democrats are overlooking that Cicilline is in “pretty dangerous territory” at 46% support – especially since undecideds usually break for the challenger (in this case, Doherty). “Finally, it is sometimes more telling what a pollster does not release,” Duffy told me – in this case, job ratings and favorable/unfavorable numbers. “If they had been strong, they would have released them.” That suggests Doherty’s favorability ratings are pretty good, which makes sense considering the general election just kicked off.

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