Newcomer Stephanie Murphy is proving a formidable opponent for 23-year incumbent John Mica, leading him 45 percent to 43 percent in the race for the 7th Congressional District seat.
“As with previous polls, the new poll shows Murphy’s support growing as voters learn about her,” a press release states.
Murphy’s parents fled communist Vietnam with her when she was just a baby, and they were saved by the U.S. Navy and allowed to come to the United States. After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, she became a national security specialist for the U.S. Department of Defense.
The poll was conducted Monday, after both Sunday’s presidential debate and the reveal of the scandalous 2005 Donald Trump video in which he bragged about being able to grope women because he was famous. Mica stated on Monday that he still supported Trump even after the revelation of the video.
According to the DCCC, 51 percent of voters polled said they were less likely to support Mica due to his support of Trump. That number rose to 62 percent among independents.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton‘s 11 percent lead over Trump (47 percent to his 36 percent) could also make for a “strong national atmosphere” for Murphy, the press release states. Fifty percent of undecided voters plan to vote for Clinton and only 15 percent are leaning toward Trump.
“Congressman Mica is so out of touch that he continues to enthusiastically support Donald Trump, even after it came to light that Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women,” said Christie Stephenson of the DCCC. “Trump has proven time and again that he is unfit to be president, yet Mica has consistently backed him to be commander-in-chief. It is clear that Mica’s willingness to put his Republican Party over our country is hurting his standing with voters in this competitive, swing district.”
Mica campaign spokesman Alan Byrd decried the poll as “propaganda” in an email to FloridaPolitics.com.
“After spending nearly $2 million in a series of misleading and untruthful ads from Nancy Pelosi and her Washington D.C. friends, how are we to believe any of the propaganda produced by the DCCC?” he asked. “Democrats should be embarrassed their national party has spent $2 million with nasty and disgusting ads in Central Florida to only be in the margin of error in their self-produced push poll.”
Byrd, in an press release issued earlier Wednesday, cites a public record document detailing the spending of the DCCC and the Murphy campaign on ads. In what Byrd states is an unprecedented record, the DCCC spent $1.7 million on ads — some supporting Murphy and others against Mica — and have another $1.4 million on the way.
Of that money, $850,000 comes from the House Majority Fund PAC, which Byrd says is run by House speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Byrd’s document juxtaposes that against the Mica campaign’s own spending, in which only $890,000 has been spent on ads at all.
“The Democrat Majority Fund, a Pelosi PAC, has put $850,000 toward defeating Mica,” Byrd said. “This is an unprecedented amount of campaign money being spent by outside interests in the political history of Central Florida. Mrs. Pelosi is determined to buy this seat and gain another vote in her quest to regain the House speakership. These offensive ads are designed to misrepresent and grossly distort Mica’s positions to confuse and sway voters. Even local TV stations have found them to be misleading and inaccurate.”