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Republican challenger Sam Caligiuri has opened a lead outside the margin of error and appears poised to defeat incumbent Congressman Chris Murphy. A four day tracking poll of 911 likely voters in the Fifth Congressional District shows Caligiuri inching past the 50% threshold. He now leads 51.5-43.8 with with just 4.7% undecided. The poll was conducted October 28-31 by the Merriman River Group and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.

“With 24 hours to go, it appears that Congressman Murphy needs a resurgent Democratic turnout rivaling 2008 in order to hold his seat,” said poll director Matthew Fitch. “Murphy has run a strong campaign, but tough national headwinds and a faltering top of the ticket in his district have put his seat in jeopardy. Most troubling for Murphy is that Caligiuri has gradually improved his standing each night. The tea party continues to be a factor beyond their relative size. While only 14% of voters identify themselves as tea party supporters, those who do are supporting Caligiuri by a staggering 88-9 margin. The President’s approval rating in the Fifth of 43% positive and 54% negative may be the best predictor of the final result.’

I had assumed that Murphy ’96 was safe. Just how big is the Republican wave? According to the very smart Nate Silver, if Murphy loses, then the Republicans would be on track to win at least 76 seats.

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