The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee canceled a week of ads previously scheduled to run against incumbent U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Jupiter, in his race against businessman Patrick Murphy.
“Patrick Murphy is ahead in the polls, and we’ve committed the resources to ensure he can win,” Jesse Ferguson, a DCCC spokesman told Roll Call. “But the best resource for him to win this race is letting Allen West be Allen West.”
And yet, the polls have consistently placed West and Murphy in a statistical dead heat. The last DCCC poll gave Murphy a one-point edge, 47 to 46, well within the range of error. The latest internal poll results, announced yesterday by Public Opinion Strategies, has West leading Murphy 52 – 41 percent.
The GOP considers Ferguson’s statement mere bravado.
“By all appearances, national Democrats are throwing in the towel on Patrick Murphy’s sinking campaign,” said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Nat Sillin. “The more voters get to know Murphy and his policies, the less they like him — and now even his party leaders are abandoning ship.”
This isn’t the first setback for Murphy. On July 12, Media Trackers, a Wisconsin conservative investigative watchdog group, reported that a simple Google search provided Democratic Party opposition research notebooks indicating that West was among 12 Republicans it was seeking to beat on Nov. 6.
According to Media Trackers, the notebooks were obtained through a simple information technology error
Brian Sikma, communications director for Media Trackers, told Roll Call that the website obtained far more than just a list of names.
“The books provide a treasure trove of information outlining likely lines of attack that Democratic candidates will use against Republicans in the Democrats’ ‘Drive to 25? effort to retake the House,” Sikma said. “More important than the actual information, though, is that the DCCC’s server had an IT flaw that exposed sensitive files to Google. There is probably no way to know the extent of how many files – opposition research or otherwise – that have been compromised.”
To recap, two months ago, information on DCCC strategy to snatch West’s congressional seat was revealed to the opposition. One month ago, the polls indicated that West and Murphy were statistically even. Two days ago the DCCC dropped a week of ads directed against West. Yesterday, West’s internal polling data has him leading by double digits. Not a good week for Murphy, and as Holmes used to tell Watson, “The game is afoot.”
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