CT-Sen: Murphy is In

It’s on:

Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) jumped into the 2012 Senate race Thursday, saying in a statement that he decided to run to offer “a fresh, progressive voice.” …

“I’ve decided to run for the United States Senate in 2012 because I believe that I can be a stronger voice for the issues that matter to Connecticut, like creating good jobs and ending these costly wars, in the Senate,” Murphy’s statement read.

Murphy said entering the race was a “tough decision” but that ultimately, “what I’ve heard is that people feel that the Senate simply doesn’t work anymore — it’s become an unjustifiable barrier to positive change, and Connecticut needs a fresh, progressive voice there that will push for both policy and institutional reform.”

Murphy, a great friend of SSP, joins ex-SoS Susan Bysiewicz in the Democratic primary fray. We’re still waiting to hear whether 2nd District Rep. Joe Courtney, who is also reportedly interested in a run, will throw down, as well.

UPDATE: Here’s Murphy’s announcement video, referencing his relentless door-knocking habits:

There’s also word today of a poll giving Murphy a 47-35 lead over Bysiewicz in the Dem primary, although we haven’t seen a memo yet. This article says it’s an internal poll from Murphy, but a source on the campaign tells us the numbers aren’t theirs.

While we’re girding for a major Dem primary, it’s sounding like there’s going to be some mortal combat on the GOP side too, with potentially as many as four retreads slugging it out. Ex-Rep. Rob Simmons, who lost to Linda McMahon in last year’s Senate primary, is already firing shots across her bow, although it’s unclear whether he intends to run or is just trying to kneecap her so someone else gets a try. And while former Gov. candidate Tom Foley’s interest has been known, now the guy he defeated in his primary, former Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, is also saying he’s considering the Senate race too.

Finally, there’s the little matter of CT-05, which, unless Murphy abruptly reverses course, is our first confirmed open seat of 2012. While this district (which includes culturally-conservative blue-collar cities like Waterbury and New Britain, plus a lot of wealthy second-home territory in the state’s northwest corner) is a Dem-leaning seat, it’s the closest Connecticut comes to a swing seat, at D+2. The GOP sounds like they’d like a return engagement from former state Sen. and Waterbury mayor Sam Caligiuri, who got within 8 points of Murphy last year. Potential Dem candidates mentioned include state House speaker Chris Donovan and Simsbury First Selectwoman (and Ned Lamont’s LG candidate) Mary Glassman.

83 thoughts on “CT-Sen: Murphy is In”

  1. Even if Foley were to run, and run unopposed, on the GOP side I have a tough time seeing this as competitive.

    To put it another way, how ugly would the Dem primary have to be for Foley to even make it close in a presidential year?

    Add to that the NRSC has tons of targets who will require financial and staff support that have a much higher probability of success than any GOPer in CT. The NRSC is not going to want to waste dollars there when candidates like Steelman (MO), Tyler (OH) & Hoekstra (MI) will screaming for help.

  2. will not be that competitive in the primary.

    Her polling numbers are solid because as a statewide office holder, more people know her and have voted for her. But Murphy will make up the difference pretty quickly. He’s impressive.

    And folks haven’t forgotten her strange mishaps over the past couple years, including her changing intentions to run for different offices two years ago (it was like musical chairs, and painful to watch), and her mishandling of the governor’s post-election this year. She didn’t even show up for one press conference when she had indicated she would. It was like she went into hiding.

  3. http://www.chrismurphy.com/pag

    My first reaction was that the door-knock was a little tacky, but I think he pulls it off by the end. I love the promise to reply to all questions and comments. Neat stuff.

    Also, I love how he unabashedly ties himself to health care reform. In the email I got this morning, he called out his vote for a public option, and in the video, he says: “Creating jobs requires extending health care to all Americans.”

    This could be an encouraging sign for Democratic campaigns in the next cycle. Granted, different messages will resonate in different states, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see successful campaigns built on STRENGTHENING the HCR bill from a progressive standpoint. That could help change the discussion in the country, where the bill as it stands becomes the defacto middle ground, and much harder for conservatives to dislodge.

  4. SSP needs to get the house retirement watch going. I don’t know when the mods usually get it up, but now that we have our first retirement of the season….

    Also, who are the likely contenders for Murphy’s now vacated house seat?

  5. Chris Murphy would be an excellent candidate. Susan Bysiewicz…err I fear that she’ll have some news worthy gaffes on the campaign trail like Martha Coakley did.  

  6. if you guys don’t vote for me, I’m going to have Linda McMahon start running those ads again. Think I’m kidding? Try me!”

  7. I know it’s far out, but I think Connecticut is well and truly done with electing Republicans on the federal level. Foley, Fedele, and McMahon are definitely top-tier, but they all lost last year in a tremendous Republican wave election (Fedele didn’t even make it out of the primary).

    Bysiewicz shouldn’t be an obstacle, and if Rep. Courtney runs, I don’t see him making much of an impression. Sometimes looks do matter.

  8. Why run a very conservative candidate like Caligiuri (and thus – give initiative to Democrats from the beginning) when Republicans could run generally moderate and noncontroversial candidate like Roraback, who would have substantially better chances in this only slightly Democratic district? No logic at all, IMHO…

  9. Isn’t that the first open seat of the cycle? I think Pence already announced that he’s not running for another term, even though it isn’t clear whether he will run for President or Governor.

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