UPDATED: Murphy Internal Poll: Murphy Has Wide Lead in AG Primary
By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
Patrick Murphy’s campaign has released the results of an internal poll showing the former Congressman with a double-digit advantage over his opponents in the Democratic primary for state Attorney General.
The poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group, shows Murphy garnering 36 percent of a hypothetical three-way vote, while 15 percent of respondents chose former Lackawanna County assistant district attorney Kathleen Kane and 8 percent selected former Philadelphia prosecutor Dan McCaffery.
Murphy earned 61 percent of the vote in the Philadelphia suburbs, where he served two terms in Congress, with 8 percent supporting Kane and 5 percent behind McCaffery, according to a memo compiled by Global Strategy’s Jef Pollock and Joe Hickerson. In Philadelphia, where McCaffery ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for District Attorney in 2009, 37 percent supported Murphy, with Kane at 10 percent McCaffery at 5 percent.
A spokesman for Murphy’s campaign also told PoliticsPA on Thursday that the former Congressman has raised “more than $1.4 million from 2,503 contributors around the country and in 45 counties in Pennsylvania.” Last week, Kane’s campaign announced that she had $2 million on hand.
Daniel McElhatton, Kane’s campaign spokesman, sought to minimize the poll’s significance. “Polls on January 12 are of little value,” he told PoliticsPA Thursday night. “Kathleen Kane has the record and experience — as well as the ability to communicate them — that will position her to be the nominee.”
The survey was conducted before an Associated Press report indicating that Murphy, who served as a JAG officer with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in Bosnia and Iraq, hadn’t taken the state bar exam here or tried cases in state court.
Murphy has said that he chose to take the bar in Minnesota because its faster turnaround time would help him secure a first-come-first-serve assignment with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 2004 based on his passing the Minnesota bar and five years of work as a lawyer in the Army.
Headlines such as, “Patrick Murphy Did Not Take Pa. Bar Exam,” from Fox 29 in Philadelphia have been common in the day since the story broke.
The poll and campaign finance information are aptly timed, and Murphy supporters hope it counteracts the news – which has contributed to Murphy’s worst day of press so far this race.
Democratic State Committee meets on Saturday in State College to determine which, if any, of the three Democrats to endorse. Multiple sources have told PoliticsPA that none of three candidates is likely to earn the daunting two-thirds vote necessary to secure the endorsement. However, they say that Murphy is the closest and could possibly get there if stars align.
Kane’s campaign announced last week that it has $2 million cash on hand. McCaffery’s campaign has yet to release its numbers.
Here’s the internal memo from Murphy: