Wednesday, August 23, 2006

5th Congressional District: Democracy Corps Poll

Looks like Democracy Corps commissioned some polling of likely voters in the 5th CD. The results of the poll (PDF) [HTML file here] are interesting, and worth a look. More information about Democracy Corps is here: they are not without bias.

Let's look at some of the results. First, the head-to-head matchup:
Q.27 If the election for U.S. House of Representatives were today and the candidates were Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican Nancy Johnson -- for whom would you vote, Democrat Chris Murphy or Republican Nancy Johnson?

Democrat Chris Murphy ...................................................... 40
Lean Democrat Chris Murphy .............................................. 4
Republican Nancy Johnson................................................. 45
Lean Republican Nancy Johnson......................................... 4
(Undecided).......................................................................... 7

And about the recent ad wars in the district:
Of the ads you recall seeing about Chris Murphy, which TWO ads had the most impact on your impression of Chris Murphy?

Nancy Johnson is 'red handed' and shows she has
voted to benefit corporate interests..................................... 33
Nancy Johnson has been in Washington too long and
Chris Murphy will bring change ........................................... 32
Nancy Johnson has cut taxes and Chris Murphy voted
to increase taxes ................................................................. 24
Chris Murphy voted to cut taxes while balancing the
budget and to change Congress we must send new
people.................................................................................. 22
Nancy Johnson fought to lower gas prices and Chris
Murphy is using misleading attacks against her.................. 20
(Other).................................................................................. 2
(None had impact)................................................................ 4
(Have not seen anything) ..................................................... 8
(Don't know/ refused) ........................................................... 8

Too much information in the poll to be reprinted here, but you should certainly go and have a look for yourselves. It basically tells us what we know already--that the 5th District race will be tight. Johnson has a slight edge for now, but that could change. Only 43% of respondants said they'd vote to re-elect her: 44% said they'd consider voting for someone else.

One other finding of the poll, for those of you who just can't get enough Senate race news, is that Lieberman leads Lamont in the 5th District 48%-40%.


MikeCT said...

Here's my summary and one from No More Nancy (where I heard about it). Certainly suggests that Murphy is competitive and Johnson is vulnerable. Murphy's commitment to and experience in shoe leather politics will help him. Unfortunately, Joe "it's all about me me me" Lieberman's campaign to draw out Republican voters in order to defeat Democrats will hurt Murphy.

The poll was conducted by a firm run by Stan Greenberg, Bill Clinton's pollster. A July poll showed Murphy slightly ahead.

Anonymous said...

GC said: "they are not without bias."

That may be the all-time understatement!

Here is what I found from their link: "In 1999, Stan Greenberg, together with political consultants James Carville and Bob Shrum, founded Democracy Corps ..."

That's all I need to know.

Sham poll.

Anonymous said...

Please look at question 50 of the poll, which tests party affiliation. Here are the results:

40% Democrats
28% Republican
32% Independent (Unaffiliated)

That is not the break down in the 5th District. Obviously, this poll is skewed toward a Democrat. In fact, given this imbalance, I would have thought that Murphy would have been ahead.

Nice try Murphy, but you are still going to lose.

Anonymous said...

mikect said: "A July poll showed Murphy slightly ahead."

That was the poll cunducted by that independent, unbiased group called, right?

Give me a break. But, hey, according to you Murphyites, your candidate is losing ground fast. had him with a 10 pt. lead in July and now Clinton's pollster has him down 5 pts. Wow! A 15 pt. drop in less than 2 months. The ship is sinking!

Poll Junkie said...

GGC and Anonymouses,

Democracy Corps is a Democratic shop run by Mr. Rosa DeLauro, but so what? No polling firm has a vested interest in skewing results -- their credibility is the only thing they have going for them. Democrats don't want to be lied to, even by Democratic pollsters.

As for the partisan skew, that's to be expected. Party affiliation shifts constantly, and it's perfectly plausible -- indeed likely -- that in a Democratic year like 2006 is turning out to be, the Reagan-Democrat heavy 5th CD has more self-identified Dems than normal. No reputable pollster controls for Party ID because it'll be anywhere any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Nancy is in serious trouble. There is no way a challenger should even be within 20 points of a 24 year incumbent. It's (finally) over for Johnson. By the way, I love the "No More Nancy" blog...great site!

GMR said...

Polls can indeed be biased.

A poll by the RNC or DNC will not want to make it sound like their candidate is so far out of the running that there's no hope, and thus no donations.

Polls by one of the Democrat or Republican polling companies because they also sell consulting services. If they tell a candidate they are way down in the polls, they might not be selected to provide consulting.

Here's a simple test for analyzing the results of any poll -- political or favorite cola or favorite radio station or whatever. Does the pollster have a vested interest in making the poll results skew one way or the other? (Obviously, track record is important to all pollsters: if you're always way off, you lose credibility. But other than the credibility factor, does the pollster gain something by showing one party is ahead even when that party is not ahead?)

Anonymous said...

Nice try truebluect, posting anonymously again, huh?

Anonymous said...

Anon (12:53),

The July Murphy poll was conducted on behalf of CT Working Families, not MoveOn. It showed a 3-point lead. You know perfectly well that polls by different companies shouldn't be directly compared. But there are three polls in which Murphy looks strong.

justavoter said...

Nancy Johnson is a jerk.
She is also a fake.
She's no Moderate Republican .

Chris I think will win is message is clear and people want change this year for many reasons.

Nancy has been in office for to long.
Chris will provide us with Progressive ideas which Nancy is void of.

disgruntled_republican said...


Just curious if you think any republican candidate is:
1. A decent person/office holder
2. Going to win in November

bluecoat said...

I have no idea what 9:32 is talking about; I don't post under anon and I don't know much about the race in the 5th except the dumb ads about Murphy raisning taxes 27 times along with a Republican Governor.

In the 4th, I linked this a last week but GC hasn't put it up on the right yet:Maymin Enters 4th District Race By Azia Li Forrest from the Westport news. Just a reminder that he'll be on the ballot.

disgruntled_republican said...


They said truebluect, not you.

BrassBoy said...

Can we stop fawning over this "shoeleather" strategy people think Chris Murphy is employing. Putting aside the fact that door-to-door campaigning is almost worthless in a congressional race, it's a sham. Mr. Murphy has been the State Senator for the 16th for 4 years now and nobody ever sees him in Waterbury.

If he was so interested in wearing out his sho leather, why hasn't he done so already by actually meeting some of his constituents, instead of dreaming about the next rung on his ego ladder?

And please, justavoter, enough with the "Progressive" label. It makes it sound as if progress would be made. Just say you want an ultra-liberal candidate like Murphy to win so he can try to implement 60's era proposals instead of saying we need more "Progressive" ideas.

Anonymous said...

Brass Boy -

Why so angry? Seriously, I don't think you should be all that angry. Unless of course you're angry about the attack ad's Johnson is running against Chris, has been running for 4 weeks, and yet, chris is still gaining pts week in and out in her internal polls? Or, maybe you are mad that she demanded that 3rd parties stay out of the race, and yet, the FOR-profit nursing homes are running ads talking about how great her healthcare record is? Maybe, now this might be a stretch, you are mad because her healthcare record is only really good for the pharma industry, FOR-profit senior centers and insurance companies, maybe that's why you are so mad?

My only real question, in that latest ad from the FOR-profits, how many of those seniors do you think could actually figure out her medicare plan?

Give me a break - she's been there for 20+ years and hasn't done a damn thing for waterbury or connecticut. Time to go.

BrassBoy said...

you want to know why i'm mad? because i've been saddled with a state senator for 4 years who hasn't given a damn about his constituents and hasn't shown his face in his district except for a photo-op or to further his goals of higher office. so why should he be my congressman, because he is so "progressive"???

meanwhile, nancy, who has been in office for 20+ years but has only been waterbury's congresswoman for less than half of that (remember the old 6th district???) has been all over the place. i see her everywhere! you talk about not doing anything for Waterbury... what is your definition? championing a smoking ban?

so tell me, what good would having chris murphy as my congressman do me? he hasn't done anything as a state senator, hasn't shown his face in the district and has pretty focused all his time on trying to move up the political ladder.

i know, blah, blah, blah, nacy is only for big business, big pharma, etc. and chris murphy is for the "people" right? becasue he is so "progressive"? well i am a middle-class, white, male, catholic, and i seriously doubt chris murphy has even given me second thought. except to raise my taxes and make my life even more difficult than it alread is.

but mostly i'm angry at people who insist on throwing out the word "progressive" as if the rest of us don't know it means "liberal". and that's all chris murphy is, a liberal politician who carpet bags and pays more attention to his own ambitions than his district.

don't believe me? why don't you ask the members of his own party in Waterbury who can't even stand the guy...

Anonymous said...

With all of Johnson's attack ads over the past few weeks, if the poll shows Murphy down, basically within the margin of error, that is darn good.

bluecoat said...

DG: somedays I just don't recognize my own handle - anyway, Shays and Farrell have another competitior - from Moscow no less.

Anonymous said...

Brassboy is right. The only time i've seen chris murphy in waterbury was outside a polling place in 2004 when he got word that there was a doctor in his labcoat outside telling people not to vote for murphy. If the people of waterbury are lucky, they'll not only keep nancy as a congresswoman but they'll pick up Sam Caligiuri as a state senator,
Murphy can spend the next two years thinking about the piss poor job he has done for his senatorial district.

Anonymous said...

I don't need a poll to tell me that Johnson is running scared - all you have to do is turn on the tv. I haven't seen ads from the other two R incumbents yet.

bluecoat said...

Why was the doctor telling people not to vote for Murphy? Does he have some kind of contagious disease? I don't know much about Waterbury.

Anonymous said...


brassboy is right--No one is hurting Murphy but himself. He has failed to pay attention to Waterbury and in a close election, Waterbury is VERY, VERY important. My bet is that Murphy looses and it will be because Waterbury will go to Johnson and not to Murphy.

If fact, if Murphy actually paid more attention to Waterbury, he would realize that an association with Joe Lieberman would actually be a good thing for him.

I am a Democrat, but I call it like I see it. Stop blaming other people for the shortcomings of your candidate!

Anonymous said...

Republicans are afraid that Nancy Johnson is going to lose this race. Really afraid. Brass Boy, you're petrified. Is it because of her limited education that she thought the '27 times' ad would resonate with the ignorant neanderthals who vote republican? She's not going to win Independent votes with disgraceful ads like that. She should take enough Ambien to sleep through the rest of the campaign. When she wakes up she still might have her seat or at least still have some of that drug money left for retirement.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

bluecoat said...
Why was the doctor telling people not to vote for Murphy

Murphy did a dog and pony show for MD's a few years ago promising them all that he'd fight like crazy to get them some malpractice limits.

He then collected a small fortune from them in campaign donations.

Next he trotted in and voted no on the very bill he had promised them he would fight like crazy to get them.

Most MD's loathe him.

One well known doctor had him ejected from a chamber of commerce event hosted by an area hospital.

I attend church with an OBGYN who is about as political as an end table.
He approched me after church one Sunday a couple of years ago during our coffee hour and inquired if I knew who Chris Murphy was. (My son gasped)
I was shocked to hear the good doctor's description of Murphy as such language is unusal in a church setting.

I do know this; it was him or his partner that was standing outside in Waterbury a couple of years ago.

Anonymous said...

I don't see any way for Johnson to improve her numbers. When you've been there for 24 years most people are pretty set in their opinions of you one way or another. The fact that her numbers are so low is no doubt alarming to her campaign as there's little they can do to improve them. That's why they are attacking Murphy so hard. She knows she can't get her numbers to go up so she's trying to bring his down. I predict lots of mud slinging and nastiness coming from Johnson's campaign as we move toward November.

CT Progressive said...

The Journal Inquirer had a great editorial on Johnson:

Nancy Johnson's ads: first grandmother then knife fighter

After 12 terms in Congress, 24 years, U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson's act may be wearing thin. It is being revved up again in television commercials. It goes like this.

First Johnson, who represents Connecticut's 5th Congressional District, the northwest part of the state, raises millions of dollars for her re-election campaign from special interests, particularly from the medical and pharmaceutical industries, over which she has great influence as a high-ranking member of the Republican majority on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Then Johnson's campaign produces and broadcasts a series of commercials portraying her as a caring grandmother looking after everyone. Oh, look -- There's Nancy getting free prescriptions for all the old folks. And there's Nancy attending the memorial service of someone who was killed in the terrorist attack on New York, earning the gratitude of the victim's family and proving that she REALLY CARES.

And then the caring grandmother unleashes the attack ads against her Democratic opponent, ads in which the caring grandmother can be found only for the briefest instant, when she delivers the legally required disclaimer in her own voice that she approves this message. No caring grandmother would want to stick around long enough to be associated with the demagogic abuse that is to follow.

This year Johnson's opponent is state Sen. Christopher S. Murphy of Southington, and Johnson's campaign is broadcasting a cartoonish TV commercial proclaiming that Murphy has voted to raise taxes 27 times and on just about everything -- your house, your car, your gas, even your pet. Twenty-seven times! Twenty-seven times! Twenty-seven times!

(Get it yet? That was 27 times!)

Well, OF COURSE Murphy has voted to raise taxes. He's running against Johnson, isn't he? He must have voted to raise taxes. Actually, 27 times, if that number is close to true, may not be so high for someone who already has had four years in Connecticut's General Assembly. And as Murphy replies in a TV ad of his own, he has voted to cut some taxes as well. So just how does it all add up?

But Johnson's attack ad isn't your grandmother's attempt to sit down, go over the details carefully, reason things out, and do right by everyone. It's your grandmother smashing the skillet down on your head because you may have just THOUGHT of reaching into her cookie jar.

That is, it's a smear. For as Lenin is supposed to have observed, if you label something well enough, you don't have to argue with it.

If Murphy's campaign had the money and the wit, it might have replied differently to Johnson's attack ad - replied with an attack ad of its own a bit closer to the truth:

"In her three decades in Congress, Nancy Johnson has voted to bankrupt the country by running up the national debt 1,027 times! Yes, 1,027 times!"

After all, where does anybody think that money for free prescriptions for the old folks is coming from? It's all being borrowed from their grandchildren, just like the money for the war in Iraq.

Or maybe this one: "Going to funerals of terrorism victims is nice, but how does Mrs. Caring Grandmother serve in Congress all this time without ever having had anything to say, much less a critical question, about the war in Iraq? The funerals won't let up until someone asks questions."

Contrary to the suggestion of those of Johnson's campaign commercials in which she shows herself, distinct from the commercials in which she slashes at her opponent almost anonymously from a safe distance, government is NOT all warm and fuzzy. Its choices can be as cutthroat as Johnson's own attack ads. But it has been a long time since Johnson has been compelled to confront and acknowledge those choices when doing so might mean something -- in an election.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Anonymous 8:02 PM said... I predict lots of mud slinging and nastiness coming from Johnson's campaign

You're not familier with Murphy's MO I take it.

How about this:

But I like [other candidate].

Oh absolutely I agree, he's done a great job and I only hope to be a 10th as good..he certainly has big shoes to fill...but don't you know???

Know? Know what?

Well the poor fellow didn't really want to run this time around his young son has cancer you know and his wife.....well his wife hasn't taken it at all well and has been checked into the institute for a while...poor guy really has his hands full.

Gasp! I....I had no idea this is terrible!

Yes yes, it's awful all right...

And that my friends is how you get an incumbants own 1st cousins to vote for you.

Lie your head off.

Of course none of it was true.
The son was and remains the picture of health and the former incumbant's wife was and is just fine as well.

Murphy not only brings a new level of low to politics but he mananged to win one seat on the other guy's solid reputation.

Why do you think it is that none of the people that helped him win a PZC seat, then a seat in the assembly and then the 16th senate are not around now? Ever see anyone in politics shed their own supporters like a snake sheds his skin before?

He is truely a snake.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be alot of frothing at the mouth about what a terrible candidate Chris Murphy is, as if the people think that if they say it loud enough, it will become true. The fact is that he is in a statistical dead heat with a long term incumbent after facing an onslaught of negative ads. Nancy went negative early hoping that she would nip Murphy's campaign in the bud. It worked against Maloney, but doesn't seem to have worked with Murphy. This means that her attempts to go negative later in the campaign will have less of an effect. She should have kept her powder dry and waited until October to go negative. I have no ax to grind in this race, but I really believe she is headed for a defeat.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 12:49: I have to agree with your posting. Murphy will not be able to pull this off - and after the mess he has made in Hartford, THANK GOD he can't! And Brassboy, no truer words have been said. Thanks for saying it so nicely!

Anonymous said...

Hey "justavoter", if you really think that Murphy is a Progressive, then he has faked you out as well. He tells you what he thinks you want to hear - at least from my dealings with him.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 3:27, or should I also call you Anon 2:34pm (most likely) - like you, I checked out the "no more nancy" blog - interestingly enough, I personally found it tasteless & lacking in class. Of course, I don't expect a MURPHY STAFFER LIKE YOU to realize that. Attack blogs are ridiculous and ruin the real effect blogs can have; that's why postings on blogs like CLP get the respect they deserve. Try not to recommend anymore of these types of blogs & stick, instead, to your campaign work at Murphy's office.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to get to this topic so late but I have to respond. This blog is a perfect reflection of the 5th District's mood- at least half the folks want a change. That is something when you consider we have a 24 year incumbant with more money than she deserves. Even with all the nasty lies alternating with warm fuzzy visions Nancy pays for she still isn't ahead. Her record is what people remember, a record she hasn't mentioned much at all. Murphy has been my State Senator for 4 years too and people around here like him- Yes even republicans. Some of the most staunch republican's here in Cheshire think he's got great ideas and that plus a feeling Nancy has not delivered = change.

bluecoat said...

Murphy was right to vote against capping non-economic damages when doctors f--k people up but wrong to take money from them telling them he would vote to get them special treatment .

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Anonymous said"Some of the most staunch republican's here in Cheshire think he's got great ideas

What a load of bunk.

As the GOP state central rep for part of Cheshire, plus my sister-on-law is on the CRTC and I attend enough events there to know my way around; that post was 100% false.

Anonymous said...

ACR you're so worried about losing Nancy you're not listening to voters. It is not a lie that many, many republicans support Chris Murphy- many are my very good friends. The fact you don't know them points to same problem the RNC is facing- it's way out of touch with what is important to the average person. My friends who are republican in Cheshire don't belong to the CRTC for this same reason. They find them selves in a party where no one supports their views, so they look at Chris and see someone they can relate to- he's talking about a new energy policy and safeguards for the enviornment. People are worried about the cost of college educations and how to deal with higher taxes. And yes the war in Iraq is highlighted as a big money item. Nancy has supported Bush policies that effect us at home and now she needs to face the voters. I know I'll never face her because she never comes to Cheshire, and does not return my phone calls. It's things like that make folks move outside their own party lines.

Sorry you're wrong about Cheshire- lots and lots of us across the board support Chris Murphy. I hope he wins in a landslide!

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:00 and 11:16 your views into the Republicans in Cheshire are what I like to say limited and fact less. Congresswoman Johnson has been there for Cheshire 100% of the time and has only the up most respect from the republicans and independents here in Cheshire. Unlike the both of you, let me share a little of what I have seen her do for Cheshire instead of just false claims of not having done anything for us.
1. Grant funding for the Cheshire Fire Department equalling close to $270,000

2. $1.5 million for the biodefense research Cheshire based.

3. Funding for around $ 3 million for job training- very important if you ask me.

4. Improvements to and involvement in the Cheshire schools

5. And I know for a fact that in the last year he has visited local factories (mine included) and community events
(saw her personally a the Fall Festival and my wife saw her at the Rotary Club)

I could go on, but I'm sure you and others now get the real facts and point, that she has been there in Cheshire and for Cheshire all along. I know I am along with a large (not necessarily active) group of my republican friends and family will continue to support her.

Anonymous said...

Just a Voter....We agree on Murphy at least. Johnson needs to go bye bye.I think Chris has a great vision and he will work hard to win this campaign. i think we finally are seeing The Beginning of The end of Nancy Johnson and her craziness.

2006...Nancy Johnson Retires to New Britain when Chris Murphy WINS

Anonymous said...

Last I heard Nancy voted to decrease funding for college Pell Grants and education in general.

Time to retire...

Anonymous said...

Re: the alleged skewing of this poll and Question 50, further consider Question 53, which shows that the poll is also "skewed" 6% in favor of CONSERVATIVES. And in favor of married couples. And women. The list goes on.

Granted, this poll is not the be-all and end-all of assessing this race at the moment, but this is the third poll to put Murphy well within striking distance of Johnson. Bottom line: she's in hot, hot water.

Wolcottboy said...

Anon 11:52-

Why are the nursing homes going for Nancy, you ask?

The same reason why the Doc's are supporting her as well (see ACR's post).

Chris Murphy last year proposed that we tax nursing home beds so that we can get matching grant money from the US Congress. If weo do, we'd help the nursing homes by giving them 100% of the tax and the Congressional grants so that the nursing homes can become more financially stable. Well, it worked.

We taxed nursing home beds. We got the federal money. And Murphy and the Connecticut Democrats spent the money elsewhere.

Oh and guess what? Without that money, nursing homes are STILL going out of business. In fact, one in Murphy's HOME DISTRICT town of Waterbury almost went out! If not for Gov. Rell and Rep. Berger (also a Dem.), putting pressure on the home, they would have had more than 60 homeless elderly.

Wolcottboy said...

Murphy - the Chairman of the PUBLIC HEALTH committee... didn't care Boo about the nursing home.