Surging Loughlin Hauls in $180,000 in Rhode Island Open-Seat Race

Posted October 29, 2010 at 2:33pm

Among the races closing late for Republicans ahead of Tuesday’s midterms is the contest in Rhode Island’s 1st district, an open seat long held by the retiring Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy.

Republican state Rep. John Loughlin has raised $180,000 over the past 13 days, according to a campaign official, enough to fuel an eleventh-hour media blitz just as a new public poll shows that the contest is a statistical tie.

Loughlin’s fundraising has been lackluster for much of the campaign. The 13-day haul of $180,000 represents nearly one-third of the amount Loughlin raised in the first 23 months of the cycle.

“It’s all going to media and GOTV in the final push,” the campaign official said.

Providence Mayor David Cicilline led Loughlin by just 2 points — 42 percent to 40 percent — among a survey of 486 likely voters surveyed Oct. 23-25. The margin of error was 4.5 points.

Loughlin was down by 11 points and 18 points in separate public polls released earlier in the month.

National conservative groups have taken notice of Loughlin’s sudden viability after ignoring him for the entire campaign.

Revere America, the conservative organization led by former New York Gov. George Pataki, spent money on a mailer to support Loughlin, while the National Right to Life Committee has purchased radio advertising to benefit the Republican, according to filings reported with the Federal Election Commission this week.

However, as of Friday neither the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee nor the National Republican Congressional Committee had spent any independent expenditures on the race.