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CD1 as a barometer for Congress

August 30, 2010

Back in 1994, Patrick Kennedy first won election to Congress amid the broad Republican gains of the Gingrich revolution.

Former ProJo scribe Mark Arsenault broke the inside story of Kennedy’s decision not to seek reelection. And this time around, he sees the outcome of the fight for RI’s First Congressional District seat as something of a national barometer.

Arsenault, now a Washington correspondent for the Boston Globe, told me the following during a recent conversation:

If a Democrat does not go on to win this race, in what is one of the more liberal districts in America — probably in the most liberal third out of 435 districts — then that would mean Democrats have probably lost the House.

I would say if a Republican can win this seat, then Republicans will probably take the House, and then that changes everything in terms of the rest of the delegation.

If [David] Cicilline goes on to win the seat, I would say it doesn’t necessarily mean that Democrats are holding the House, but certainly a strong indicator that they’ve had a decent season and would be able to do so.

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