I am still looking for an Eph willing to blog about Chris Murphy’s race for Congress on a regular basis here at EphBlog. Only two weeks left! In the meantime, here is an overview of the race.

If Curt Weldon is the safest of all Philadelphia-area Republicans, Nancy Johnson is the safest of all Connecticut Republicans. It is no coincidence that both of them are the most senior Republicans in their respective areas. Johnson won election to Congress in 1982 – an impressive feat, considering how rotten the results were for Republicans nationwide. She has had some close scrapes since them – most notably in 1996 when she barely won reelection. The closeness of that contest had to do with her relatively close relationship with Newt Gingrich. She was the chair of the House Ethics Committee when the Democrats brought charges against him.

She will face a touch challenge this year in State Senator Chris Murphy, who so far has done a superb job in the fundraising game. The 5th District – which occupies the northwest corner of the state and includes Danbury – is the most Republican in the state. Kerry only won it by 1,000 votes. Moveon.org entered this race early on with an attack on Johnson’s support of Bush’s prescription drug plan; this might have been a good thing for Johnson, who seems to have shaken off whatever rust that she’s developed in the 10 years since she faced a serious challenge. She has a reputation in the House as a moderate leader on health care policy, and she has been touting that in her reelection campaign. Good news for Johnson – in a recent Democrat-sponsored poll that was 40% D to only 28% R, she still had a 5% lead.

Murphy is up by 5% in a recent poll. Keep your fingers crossed. Even we non-Democratic Ephs would like to see Murphy in Congress.

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