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Will GOP divisions hurt the campaign vs. Cicilline?

August 9, 2011

Rhode Island’s Republican Party is justly known for the sharp and longstanding division between its moderate and conservative factions. And while a long time remains until the November 2012 election, some GOPers say internal scrapping could undermine the party’s challenge to Democratic US Representative David Cicilline.

A case in point is the reaction to a recent post by Justin Katz on the conservative blog Anchor Rising, questioning GOP candidate Brendan Doherty‘s interest in building support among Republicans. Katz favors the other Republican, John Loughlin.

The ensuing flood of comments (37 as of the time of this post) is something of a hot mess, with accusations of the two campaigns seeding their own spin, and concerns, as frequent AR commenter  Bella puts it, about the impact on the fight against Cicilline:

I don’t what kind of comedy show this thread is. Here you have probably the most vulnerable Democratic House incumbent in the country (who would’ve been beaten last November by a Schneider/Machtley-type Republican), and you all seem bent on blowing it. Right now, I don’t see the side that loses the GOP House primary supporting the winner next November. It’s like watching the closer deliberately trying to blow a 10-run lead in the ninth inning.

It takes a united GOP to win in a state where it’s the minority party. I feel like I’m watching another bizarre act of self-destruction.

This follows back and forth after Loughlin’s campaign cited support from a number of GOP city and town chairs for an upcoming fundraiser.

So things are bound to get a lot more interesting once Loughlin returns from a military assignment to Iraq in December.

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