Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Murphy Jumps to 10-Point Lead Following MoveOn Ad

Poll Conducted by Liberal Group Purports to Show Effect of Televsion Ads

Chris Murphy may be out to an early lead over incumbent Nancy Johnson, according to two polls comissioned by the liberal activist group The poll showing Murphy in the lead was taken following the release of a controversial MoveOn TV advertisement attacking Johnson.

The polls were first mentioned in an email sent to supporters, but no source was given. MoveOn communications director Jennifer Lindenauer said today in a phone conversation that the polls were commissioned by MoveOn, and were conducted by Voter Roll Call, a group affiliated with SurveyUSA. The poll does not seem to be publicly available on the web.

According to MoveOn, two polls were conducted to measure the effect of the ads. The first guaged support for the candidates among 400 likely 5th District voters from 3/26-3/28, and showed Johnson leading Murphy 47%-46%. The second, which also measured support for the candidates among 400 likely 5th District voters, was taken from 4/18-4/19, after the ads ran. In the later poll, Murphy led Johnson 51%-41%.

Johnson's campaign ran its own ad following the release of the MoveOn ad, and the Johnson campaign has accused Murphy of collaborating with MoveOn. The Murphy campaign denies any involvement with the group.

Lindenauer suggested that Johnson's tactic backfired. "[Johnson's ad] was so misleading that voters didn't buy it," she said.

A new round of advertisements from both MoveOn and the Johnson campaign is expected to debut shortly.

Update I know that many of you don't trust MoveOn as a source, so feel free to take this poll with a grain of salt. If nothing else, it suggests that the race is going to be very, very close.


MikeCT said...

To excerpt some points from my buried open thread comments on this:

The other findings from a MoveOn e-mail I received:
* The shift was even bigger among Independents. It went from dead even at 45% to 45% to Democrat Murphy leading 55% to 35% over Johnson.
* Among women voters the Democrat had a 1-point lead at 46% to 45% and now he leads 53% to 38%.
* Just to be sure these changes weren't due to national trends, we also polled before and after in a comparable district where no ad was running. There, the Republican's lead increased.

Even if the trend is half of what MoveOn's poll suggests, this extraordinary finding demonstrates Johnson's vulnerability and explains why she is so anxious that she would start off her campaign with negative ads attacking Murphy.

Now MoveOn has launced a new ad criticizing the Medicare drug bill that Johnson shepherded on behalf of the drug industry. You can watch the ad and read the back-up facts (PDF).

As the Courant reports, the ad points out that "Congresswoman Johnson accepted $400,000 from big drug companies and got caught red-handed voting for a law that actually prevents Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices for our seniors."

After her initial backfiring ad attacking Murphy for the first MoveOn ad that he had nothing to do with (and tying his photo to an image of Nazis!), she's doing more of the same. Her new ad attacking Murphy will reportedly air this week. (The Murphy campaign does not and cannot have anything to do with MoveOn. It is illegal for a federal campaign to coordinate with a PAC. They can't even talk to MoveOn.)

MoveOn backs up their criticism on the Medicare bill. And you can easily look up her massive contributions from the insurance, health, and pharmaceutical industries, eager to reward her for her work on their behalf as chair of the powerful Health Subcommittee of Ways & Means. And who could forget the $82,250 she received from the pharmaceutical industry during the 20 days when her committee considered the Medicare Part D bill?

The more Nancy runs from her record and spews negativity, the lower she goes in the polls! And Murphy has yet to run an ad, so he needs your support.

[And Genghis, I thought this was thread-worthy, but not four-thread-worthy! I was entertained by the temporary Blogspot glitch!]

Genghis Conn said...

I was ...less... entertained by that glitch!

The movement is remarkable, although in both cases the sample was pretty small (and therefore the margin of error high). I do wish the poll was online.

AnonAndOnAndOn said...


I'm not sure MoveOn does the most scientific polling... "Would you STILL vote for Nancy if you believed every word of our ads."

All this shows is that Chris has decided to let MoveON do his dirty work. And now he's whining because Nancy's pushing back.

This is Swift Boats redux. Only credit the Johnson folks for not using Kerry's strategy on staying silent.

Gabe said...

This is Swift Boats redux.

They said that she didn't deserve the three purple hearts and the Bronze Star won in a war?

Or criticized her actual voting record and the connection to her actual contributors?

Quinn said...

Interesting. However, as a purely statistical matter, any sub-sets of the data based on a sample size of 400 are totally bunk. So the supposed shift among independents and among women voters is totally irrelevant.

And I would call into question the poll's impartiality too. I'll wait for a Q-Poll, thank you very much.

Genghis Conn said...

It is a small sample. More polls on this race would be very welcome.

Still, it's the first indication of any sort we have of how the race is shaping up.

Quinn said...

Actaully, I wonder what Murphy's name-recognition numbers are like. I'm sort of surprised that not more in the poll are "unsure" at this relatively early point.

I would also like to know their criteria for "likely" voters. In a perfect world, perhaps.

I don't really think we'll see any polls approaching accurate until September\October.

Mr. Reality said...

Well if commissioned these polls they must be true!!! Are you kidding me?!! If I pointed to poll comissioned by the NRA or the Swift Boat vets I'd be laughed off of this board!!! And rightfully so!!!

C'mon Ghengis you are better than this! If you want to point this out in a regular reply post fine, but to make it a headline borders on absurdity.

Speaking of Swift Boaters, two years ago many Democrats were complaining about the fairness of those ads yet many of the same people are now endorsing's tactics. I think they both stink!! I hear so many people on this board talk about clean elections, well how about starting by getting these 527's that are designed to smear people out of the election process? I guess when we don't respect people for having different views on the issues we need to resort to hate! That's a shame.

Genghis Conn said...

There may be flaws with the poll, most notably the small sample size. But I think I was pretty clear about who was behind the poll--so take it with a grain of salt if you like.

MikeCT said...

Speaking of Medicare, I think we have a new name and image for Nancy! Donut-Hole Johnson! (More details.) said...

All sample size & validity of the poll comments aside: Johnson spending money to attack Chris in April will only increase his name rec. Once people know you then the candidate can convince them to vote for him. Regardless of what the poll says, this is nothing but good news for Murphy

stomv said...

I guess when we don't respect people for having different views on the issues we need to resort to hate! That's a shame.

You know what I hate? When a Congresscritter takes tens of thousands of dollars from a corporate industry, and then votes in ways that favor that industry at the expense of the electorate.

The ad demonstrated her behavior with facts. The money is factual, as is the vote. Now, you might argue that negative ads shouldn't be the whole picture, but NJohnson has a record, and showing that record to voters is an important part of the election process.

That's not resorting to hate, and it's not shameful.

ctkeith said...

Why wait for the Q poll?

The guy in charge of that poll was stupid enough to say Lieberman had nothing to worry about last month.

Never trust a polls done in the state where that pollster is located.Especially if his institution is dependent on Federal money for part of it's survival.

disgruntled_republican said...


Attacking her record is certainly fair game but the end of both commercials have images to both Jack A. and that jackoff confressman from Texas (I may be a reupblican but I know an ass when I see em and I NEVER liked the guy)...2 people Johnson NEVER took a dollar from (even the Hartford Courant pointed this out in this morning's paper) so in a big way the ads are deceptive.

TrueBlueCT said...


That's my headline. And despite the fact that this ain't a presidential year, people are getting enthused about voting. Doesn't bode well for any of the incumbents. Lucky for Larson and DeLauro there districts are stacked. Otherwise, watch out!

TrueBlueCT said...

Help me out. Did our three "moderate" CT Republicans form a swing coalition, sometimes standing together against Delay and Bush and the Radical Right?

The Democratic Party has had their Boll Weevils and their Blue Dogs. Recently, the Republican Party has had nothing but toadies. Neither Shays, nor Simmons, nor Johnson has ever shown any real courage. They could have stood up to the Bush agenda. Instead they kiss ass.

The trio deserves to get tossed out along with Abramoff and Delay. imho. When have they ever stood up for CT's interests?

MikeCT said...

In addition to her poor health care record, Nancy Johnson had the worst environmental record of anyone in the CT delegation in 2005. At only 56%, she gets an "F", though she recently mailed a glossy, tax-payer funded campaign piece to constituents touting herself as an environmentalist. Murphy has recieved 90% to 100% ratings in the last 3 years.

Go_Huskies_2006 said...

I still think the poll sounds suspicious but at least we know its a real poll now!

To disgruntled_republican,

You said that the courant reported that Johnson ""NEVER took a dollar from" Delay or Abramoff.

I saw the courant article and I don't think it said that, but anyway I think you have your facts wrong because I have read that Johnson took a lot of money from Delay, like ten grand, and some money from Abramoff's firm too. I will try to find where I read that and get it posted, or if anyone else knows please help me out!

Say it Aint So Joe said...

Journal Inquirer, Jan 6 06

"4 From Conn Got Money Linked to Abramoff"

John Larson
Joe Lieberman
Rosa DeLauro
Rob Simmons

Three did NOT receive any money from him or clients:

Chris Dodd
Chris Shays
Nancy Johnson

haleheartbleeder said...

Im not going to quibble with the findings positive or negative - as I have not seen the crosstabs, compared with a poll I know I can trust or would never put it past a person who releases poll numbers to spin them a little bit. I just want to point out that a sample size of 400 for a Congressional is standard fare. You do , in fact, get all the standard subsets, especially such simplistic subsets as are mentioned in the MoveOn email.
400 is the most common used number on both D and R races of this size. I've hired dozens of pollsters and completed hundreds of polls and I'd say 90% have been 400 samples and the rest have been in the 450-600 range with a few 350 overnights.

MightyMouse1 said...

MoveON has a new poll that has Bill Curry with a commanding 17% lead over Jodi Rell.

Oh wait, he is not running.

Those scoundrels at MoveOn!

Wolcottboy said...

And Murphy's not going to vote along with the people - the lawyers, special interests, etc that are giving HIM money? Of course he is. If you don't get money - or let's say in a perfect world, you are a candidate that REFUSES to accept money from anyone with an interest- who do you get money from? The uninterested? They don't vote!

MightyMouse1 said...

Murphy didn't even refuse special interest money while in session. Take a look at all the lawyers and lobbyists on his finance reports and ask if he is a 'breath of fresh air' or lesser of two evils?

MightyMouse1 said...

Murphy didn't even refuse special interest money while in session. Take a look at all the lawyers and lobbyists on his finance reports and ask if he is a 'breath of fresh air' or lesser of two evils?

Mr. Reality said...

Stomv, I guess you hate John Larson for taking all that PAC money reported in the Courant last week.

"Larson raised money through a combination of individual donations and funds from the political arms of 28 CORPORATIONS!!"

I doubt you will respond to this, but I think it goes to show that it's not so much the money that you hate but rather the person getting it. Since you don't respect Nancy Johnson's views, contributions sent to her are bad and she's a bad person for taking it! Larson is in touch with your views so that makes him likeable not worthy of your hate!

Go_Huskies_2006 said...

I found on that nancy Johnson took money from Abramoff's lobbying firm in 2002. And this website says she took money from Delay but I don't know what year that was.

Also someone asked about how much money Murphy took from special interests (which I guess means pacs), and I also found on that so far in this campaign he took $166,000 from pacs and Johnson took $922,000 from pacs.

MightyMouse1 said...

So in rough numbers, that means Johnson raised 33% of her war chest from special interests and Murphy 40% from special interests?

Go_Huskies_2006 said... says Johnson got 54% of her money from pacs and Murphy got 22% of his money from pacs.

hartford_for_lamont said...

1.) Why can't I make a link from another site to a specific comment on this site?

2.) I find it hilarious that some here have actually implied that Murphy is swiftboating Johnson, when all these MoveOn ads are doing is legitimately tying Nancy Johnson to her own work in congress, while the swifties attacked kerry personally, ie, the swifties implied that kerry was some sort of vietnam coward, when it was george bush who stayed totally away from 'nam!

and what is Nancy Johnson gonna do, say that the MoveOn ad is wrong, that she DIDN'T co-create the pig that is the medicare prescrip bill??

hartford_for_lamont said...

genghis, thank you for these poll results!

excellent work!

I have amply linked to this thread from Daily Kos, from within a great DK diary thread by Barbara Boxer about this year's competitive Dem challengers to repub House incumbents.

MightyMouse1 said...

The reason congressmen try so hard to get re-elected is that they would hate to have to make a living under the laws they've passed.

middlesexist said...

GK --- thanks for making the call. I was about to call MoveOn myself when I read this.

To be honest, MoveOn really isn't a credible source, especially if they're not willing to publish the internals.

Much as I'd like this to be true, I refuse to believe that Murphy's anywhere close to the lead at this point -- even with the ads he's not exactly a household name. This race will be competitive down to the wire, but it's way too early to call Murphy the front runner.

middlesexist said...

The sample size is not problematic -- the lack of internals is problematic. The fact that MoveOn isn't releasing them suggests they might be trying to hide sketchiness on their part.

MikeCT said...

To follow up on some references above:

In 2002, Nancy Johnson took $1,500 from the PAC of Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff’s law firm where he worked between 2000 and 2004.

(Having said that, I think the strongest case against Johnson is her own record, and the Abramoff reference is unnecessary.)

Most of Johnson's money (54%) comes from PACs. She is the #1 House recipient of money from Health Services, Hospitals & Nursing Homes! She is #2 in health insurance money and #3 in insurance and pharmaceuticals!

MightyMouse1 said...

CTMike, How do you respond to the State GOP's knock on Murphy that he has been raising money while in session from lobbyists who have business in front of his committee?

Come on Mike, if you are going to call Johnson a dirty dealer (and she is!) be honest that Murphy is being slippery as well.

MikeCT said...


First, there is a matter of sheer scale, as evidenced above. Johnson beats them all. There is no comparison.

Second, Chris Murphy thinks we should get clean up politics by getting private money out of politics. That's why he supported campaign finance reform in Connecticut. Johnson won't because it would end her career.

Wolcottboy said...


That's interesting that Johnson gets so much money from hospitals, pharmeceuticals and others in the health care industry. As most should know, Murphy is the chairman of the state's Public Health committee and always recieved money from both dentists and dental hygenists, eye doctors and many others.
Is Murphy still getting money from state and local health care professionals and perhaps Johnson is recieving the same on a national scale because they know them on those levels? Could Murphy get a cross-over contributions perhaps from the same people giving to Johnson?

MikeCT said...


I am shocked, SHOCKED that you, Chris O'Brien, the Republican who ran against Chris Murphy for his state senate seat in 2004 (and lost by 10,000 votes) might hold some unfavorable views about him and attempt to blur the chasm of difference between a fighting reformer like Chris Murphy and your party's pharmaceutical industry lobbyist, Nancy Johnson.

Wolcottboy said...


Great observation, although I wasn't trying to blur the differences. To the contrary, I was drawing very close similiarities.
In fact Sen. Murphy has alluded to the potential for a very good and interesting health care debate during this race. I work more directly in healthcare than Johnson or Murphy and am interested in how strong the pharmeceutical industry has lobbied Nancy Johnson for the Medicare law - or are they rewards for her support after the fact?
Unfortunatly, I'm not very familiar with the nuances of the new Medicare law and its detailed impact on seniors except that changing from an old plan to a new one is daunting for seniors. For my patients, I'm concerned.

On fundraising, you said above that Murphy would like to get rid of private funding of campaigns. We know that Johnson's warchest is much larger than Murphy. Fair or not, Murphy is accepting support from his own campaign AND Two sources- together much large than Johnson's. He hasn't spent money yet because MoveOn is doing it for him - wearing down Johnson's warchest without him having to spend a dime.
Now, back to donations. How do the two compare on fundraising from healthcare sources alone? And because there are more sources available nationally, how many 'votes' does each get?

Wolcottboy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wolcottboy said...

Oh and by the way, your vote count is off. I lost by 9,154 votes. 10,000 is a bit inflated, just like the MoveOn poll numbers.

Every vote counts :>

MightyMouse1 said...

MikeCT, Great answer but you dodged the point of the question when you said, "Chris Murphy thinks we should get clean up politics by getting private money out of politics" If he feels so strongly, why is he breaking the spirit of the same law that you claim he champions.

I think I know why.