PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Democrats said Wednesday they see the race for Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District moving in favor of their party’s nominee, Seth Magaziner, amid a continuing deluge of negative advertising from both sides.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said its DCCC Analytics arm polled 812 likely voters on Sunday and Monday via live phone interviews and text messages, and the results showed Fung and Magaziner tied at 48% each, with 5% undecided.
However, the DCCC declined to share the full survey, instead only releasing a polling memo summarizing the results. Notably, the party committee failed to include the third candidate on the ballot — William Gilbert, who is listed as a “Moderate” and has received as much as 5% in other surveys.
Fung led in the only two public polls released this month, 46% to 40% in a 12 News/Roger Williams University poll and 45% to 37% in a Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll. Magaziner’s own campaign released a survey Oct. 12 also showing Fung ahead but by less, 43% to 40%. Fung’s campaign has not released any internal poll numbers.
In the governor’s race, the DCCC said its poll found incumbent Democratic Gov. Dan McKee at 51% in the 2nd District, with Republican challenger Ashley Kalus at 44% and 4% undecided. That would be an improvement for McKee over the Globe/Suffolk poll, which found him leading by only 1 point in the 2nd District.
“With two weeks to go, the race for RI-02 is moving in Democrats’ direction,” said James Singer, a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Committee. “As voters learn more about Seth Magaziner and Allan Fung, they see the stakes of this election clearly. Allan Fung is too weak to ever stand up to MAGA Republicans who are funding and supporting his campaign.”
Democrats publicized their new numbers as they struggle to hold onto a district they’ve controlled since 1991 and which went for President Joe Biden by double-digits in 2020. The two parties have poured more than $8 million into advertising in the 2nd District race so far.
Samantha Bullock, a spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee, dismissed the numbers as wishful thinking on the part of Magaziner’s allies.
“Democrats are desperately trying to manufacture momentum because Rhode Island voters know Silver Spoon Seth Magaziner will keep prices sky-high and raise middle-class taxes,” she said.
A Republican source familiar with the party’s campaign data said internal GOP polling continues to show Fung leading Magaziner outside the margin of error. And the Congressional Leadership Fund, House Republicans’ super PAC, revealed plans Wednesday to pour another $450,000 into the 2nd District to support Fung.
Punchbowl News, a Capitol Hill news outlet, was first to report the super PAC’s additional spending, describing Fung as a “GOP leadership favorite.” The former Cranston mayor will be in Boston later Wednesday for a fundraiser headlined by No. 2 House Republican Steve Scalise.
Magaziner is also getting support from Washington on Wednesday, with First Lady Jill Biden traveling to Rhode Island to campaign for him as well as McKee. Separately, a super PAC affiliated with House Democrats released a new TV ad on Wednesday that resumes attacks on Fung over abortion.
Ted Nesi (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Threads, Twitter and Facebook.