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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:

Murphy AG Poll Memo

7 Responses

  1. Yeah, the only candidate with a record of winning elections, a million + in the bank, and the most political and labor support in the race should back out. That makes sense…

    McCaffery makes a lot more sense… with his long history of electoral victories, huge bank account and noted work ethic.

    Here is how the Democrats will lose… if the Democrats fight it out and the ultimate nominee spends all of his money (a la Dan Onorato). The GOP is scared of Murphy, they are trashing him on this dumba** bar exam issue because they know he can win.

  2. You may not care where he took the test and I agree that he served honorably but that does not add up to a Dem win in the general. I don’t see how he gets out of the blocks against a candidate like Freed. We (the Dems) will be handing the office to the Repubs. Patrick also has some election ethics questions that had to be addressed after his last Congressional campaign. We can’t win with him and he should do what is right and step aside.

  3. I have been in PA politics for a few years, and I will tell you that Global Strategy Group (while not totally global) is a pretty reliable source. I think the poll reflects just how hard Murphy has been working the past few months.

    He has a hell of a record, and I honestly don’t care which test he took ten years ago. I just care that he served his country in a way that the other candidates did not.

  4. Internal Poll? Wow! Murphy must really be desperate and weak to release a B.S. internal poll.

  5. Patrick Murphy seems desperate. So what if he had a lead before the news broke that he has never tried a case in PA. He is toast…the Repubs will have him for lunch if he gets to the general. For the good of the party, he should step aside.

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