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Poll: Cicilline barely ahead of Gemma  
Incumbent Dem faces fight before Sept. 11 primary
Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2012, 11:01 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 16 May 2012, 5:49 PM EDT
 
Observations and analysis on latest Channel 12 Poll 
 
With 5000 or so calls having been made to complete a sample of 300 plus primary voters demonstrates the extreme difficulty in getting a primary sample that actually reflects likely primary voters.  If anyone can do the job well it’s a veteran Rhode Island pollster, like Joe Fleming.
 
Among the most interesting findings from Cicilline’s perspective:
·        If only traditional primary voters turnout at the primary Cicilline now appears to have a good chance of pulling off a win; since:
o  He has such miserable job performance ratings and still is slightly ahead
o  One in five say they are undecided – undecided with all of Cicilline’s negative press – that can’t be bad for the congressman
o  He does better among those who say they are most likely to vote in the primary; there’s a much better chance they’ll be at the primary than those saying they are “somewhat likely to vote”
o  He has a comfortable lead among Union households, and again they will be out on election day
o  He’s holding even with senior citizens, another group that can be counted on to turn out
 
For Gemma:
·        He’s going to have to work hard to get better known, to make inroads among those most likely to vote, and induce people who may sit out primaries to get out and vote
·        Since Gemma doesn’t carry a negative image from 2010 into the campaign he is free to create his own image, but he needs to get on with this like yesterday because Cicilline is already beginning to throw  Carcieri/no real Democrat barbs his way
·        One potential bright spot Gemma is making a stronger showing among men, and they are more likely to vote in the primary than their female counterparts
·        Voters are obviously very upset with Cicilline, but Gemma will have to give them a reason to vote for him, otherwise they may simply stay at home come Election Day.  Demonstrating a command of the issues of jobs, the economy, and other bread and brother issues is critical
·        In the end, one of Gemma’s biggest challenges will be to make the primary interesting enough to lure voters who tend to pass on primaries to get motivated enough by his campaign to turnout.