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Mr. Rossi pulled ahead 42 percent to 39 percent in the final week of the May poll - the same week he announced his much-expected candidacy.
The GOP establishment-backed candidate trailed 40 percent to 44 percent in the preceding three weeks, which leads pollster and professor Matt Barreto to conclude Mr. Rossi’s surge was the result of widespread news coverage about his candidacy.
“It was akin to mini-political convention when you can expect a bump in mostly positive news about a candidate,” said Mr. Barreto, who suspected the surge, then extracted the final week of polling numbers.
Mr. Rossi, a former state senator and two-time gubernatorial candidate, officially entered the race May 26. However, he orchestrated almost a week of coverage by leaking news he had hired a campaign manager, announcing his run two days later, then conducting interviews the following day, Mr. Barreto said.
An averaging of major polls by the website Real Clear Politics still has Mrs. Murray, a three-term incumbent and member of the Senate Democratic leadership, leading Mr. Rossi by 3 percentage points, but has now declared the race a tossup.
Cicilline begins bid to succeed Kennedy
WOONSOCKET | Providence Mayor David Cicilline is calling for a moratorium on offshore oil drilling, no-interest students loans for middle-income families and a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress in his bid to succeed Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy in Congress.
The two-term Demcoratic mayor on Monday officially kicked off his campaign with a stop in Woonsocket, where he also called for a New Deal-style investment in things such as bridges and roads as a way to get people working and improve infrastructure.
Mr. Cicilline faces at least two other Democrats in the September primary - former party Chairman Bill Lynch and former state Rep. David Segal. The winner will likely face Republican John Loughlin, a state representative.
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