A new poll conducted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee says that its candidate Stephanie Murphy is within striking distance of longtime incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica in Florida’s 7th Congressional District.

The poll gives Mica 48 percent and Murphy 45 percent in the district, which covers north central and northeast Orange County and all of Seminole County. That 3 percent gap is within the poll’s margin of error.

The poll was commissioned by the DCCC, which is spending $3 million so far to elect Murphy.

Consequently, Mica’s campaign quickly dismissed it.

“It’s the oldest trick in the book to use a deceitful and misleading push poll,” said Mica’s campaign spokesman Alan Byrd. “We’ve heard from countless individuals who have heard the one-sided attack by Washington political power brokers disguised as a poll.

The poll was conducted Sept. 13-15 by the Global Strategy Group and Lester & Associates. They describe it as a district-wide survey of 401 likely November 2016 voters with a margin of error of 4.9 percent. The pollsters said care taken to ensure the geographic and demographic divisions of the expected electorate are properly represented based on historical turnout.

It did not specify whether the historic turnout was based on the 2008 and ’12 elections, which saw significantly more Democrats, or included other years, which did not.

The DCCC said an August poll gave Mica an 18-point lead. That was before the DCCC, Murphy and the House Majority PAC began running pro-Murphy, anti-Mica TV ads in Orlando.

Mica has just purchased $892,000 worth of his TV ads, though they have not yet begun airing. The campaign has not yet revealed its commercials.

The new DCCC poll also found CD 7 voters favoring Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump, 47 percent to 41 percent. It also found that 47 percent of voters believe Mica will support Trump’s agenda, a theme the DCCC is pushing.

“It’s clear that voters in Florida’s 7th district are not only rejecting Donald Trump, but also John Mica for his willingness to enthusiastically put his party before country and support his reckless, dangerous nominee for president. Congressman John Mica may be a decades-long incumbent, but he is now in the political fight of his life,” DCCC spokeswoman Christie Stephenson stated in a news release.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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