Rhode Island's 1st Congressional District elections, 2012

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Rhode Island's 1st Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
September 11, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
David N. Cicilline Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
David N. Cicilline Democratic Party
David Cicilline.jpg

Rhode Island U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Rhode Island.png
The 1st congressional district of Rhode Island held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Incumbent David Cicilline (D) won re-election.[1]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
June 27, 2012
September 11, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Rhode Island has a closed primary system, meaning only registered members of a particular party may vote in that party's primary.

Voter registration: Voters were required to register to vote in the primary by August 12. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 7.[2]

See also: Rhode Island elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent is David N. Cicilline (D), who has served since 2011.

Rhode Island's 1st goes 65% Democratic, but incumbent David N. Cicilline (D) was still considered extremely vulnerable, according to the Washington Post. With Cicilline fighting the ghosts of his performance as Providence mayor, he faced a strong challenge in both the primary (from Anthony Gemma) and general (from Brendan Doherty).[3]

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Rhode Island's 1st congressional district is located in the northern and eastern portions of the state and includes the greater portion of Providence.[4]

This is the 1st congressional district prior to the 2010 redistricting.


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party David N. Cicilline Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Brendan Doherty
Independent C. Michael Blake
Independent Kenneth A. Capalbo
Independent David S. Vogel

September 11, 2012, primary results
Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Independent Independent Candidates

Election Results

General Election

U.S. House, Rhode Island District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Cicilline Incumbent 53% 108,612
     Republican Brendan Doherty 40.8% 83,737
     Independent David S. Vogel 6.1% 12,504
     Write-In N/A 0.1% 262
Total Votes 205,115
Source: Rhode Island Board of Elections "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Rhode Island's 1st Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Cicilline Incumbent 62.1% 30,203
Anthony Gemma 30.2% 14,702
Christopher Young 7.6% 3,701
Total Votes 48,606

Race background

Rhode Island's 1st was considered to be Leaning Democratic according to the New York Times race ratings. Democratic incumbent David N. Cicilline was challenged by three others in the Democratic primary.[8]

Republican challenger Brendan Doherty had been included in the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program. The program highlighted challengers who represent the GOP's best chances to pick up congressional seats in the general election.[9]

Voter fraud accusations

Candidate Anthony Gemma had accused David Cicilline of voter fraud in the 2012 election but also going back to 2001. Gemma accused Cicilline of paying for votes, having people vote more than once and also using the names of voters who are deceased. Gemma stated that he had hired an investigator to seek out these allegations but chose not to share information which he said he has given to the FBI.[10]

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy had come out in support of Cicilline, stating that the accusations placed on him were "wild and reckless." In a statement given on August 25, Kennedy stated that, "...the wild and reckless allegations we have seen this week serving only to distract from the serious issues facing Rhode Island, Democrats need to stay focused on winning in November..."[11]

Impact of Redistricting

See also Redistricting in Rhode Island

Registration statistics

As of October 30, 2012, District 1 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the Rhode Island State Board of Elections:

Rhode Island Congressional District 1[12]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 1 351,476 154,857 33,270 163,349 Democratic 365.46% N/A
"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Rhode Island's 1st District became more Democratic because of redistricting.[13]

  • 2012: 64D / 36R
  • 2010: 62D / 38R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Rhode Island's 1st congressional district has a PVI of D+14, which is the 73rd most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 68-32 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 64-36 percent over George W. Bush (R).[14]

Campaign contributions

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are candidate reports.

David Cicilline

David Ciciline Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[15]April 15, 2012$517,687.32$319,562.03$(136,000.13)$701,249.22
July Quarterly[16]July 15, 2012$701,249.22$302,379.36$(167,303.48)$836,325.10
Running totals

Anthony Gemma

Anthony Gemma Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[17]March 31, 2012$191.19$1,850.00$(270.00)$1,771.19
July Quarterly[18]July 15, 2012$1,771.19$242,636.92$(80,064.53)$164,343.58
Running totals

Brendan Doherty

Brendan Doherty Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[19]April 14, 2012$482,326.75$152,513.75$(75,195.31)$559,645.19
July Quarterly[20]July 15, 2012$559,645.19$221,711.29$(112,006.06)$669,350.42
Running totals

District History


On November 2, 2010, Cicilline won election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated John J. Loughlin II, Kenneth A. Capalbo, and Gregory Raposa in the general election.[21]

U.S. House of Representatives, Rhode Island Congressional District 1 Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDavid N. Cicilline 50.6% 81,269
     Republican John J. Loughlin II 44.6% 71,542
     Independent Kenneth A. Capalbo 4% 6,424
     Independent Gregory Raposa 0.8% 1,334
Total Votes 160,569

See also

External links


  1. Politico "2012 Election Map, Rhode Island"
  2. Rhode Island Board of Elections "Elections and Voting," Accessed July 27, 2012
  3. Washington Post blog "The 10 House districts that might surprise you," May 11, 2012
  4. Rhode Island Redistricting Map "Map" Accessed July 30, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Rhode Island Secretary of State "Candidate Search Page," accessed June 30, 2012
  6. Boston.com "RI businessman challenges Cicilline in primary," April 16, 2012
  7. Providence Journal Doherty funds campaign with $50,000 of his own money December 23, 2011
  8. New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed August 10, 2012
  9. NRCC "Young Guns 2012"
  10. The Call, "Gemma charges Cicilline with voter fraud," August 22, 2012
  11. Providence Journal, "Former Congressman Kennedy endorses, defends Cicilline," August 25, 2012
  12. Rhode Island State Board of Elections, "Voter Registration Reports, 2012," July, 2012
  13. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Rhode Island," September 2012
  14. Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
  15. Federal Election Commission, "David Cicilline's April Quarterly Report," Accessed August 30, 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission, "David Cicilline's July Quarterly Report," Accessed August 30, 2012
  17. Federal Election Commission, "Anthony Gemma April Quarterly," Accessed August 30, 2012
  18. Federal Election Commission, "Anthony Gemma July Quarterly," Accessed August 30, 2012
  19. Federal Election Commission, Brendan Doherty's April Quarterly report," Accessed August 30, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission, "Brendan Doherty's July Quarterly report
  21. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"