After a narrow victory in 2012 in a GOP-tilting district, Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., looked like a prime target for Republicans in 2014. But the congressman’s fundraising, endorsements and campaign have him in progressively better position for a second term.
Murphy has proven to be one of Democrats’ top fundraisers in the House. He had $2.7 million in the bank on June 30 compared to $289,000 on hand for his likely GOP opponent, Republican Carl Domino. Murphy is starting to exercise that financial advantage when his campaign announced $1.4 million in television reservations for ads this fall. Privately, some GOP strategists admit that Murphy is running a great campaign. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement of the Democrat likely helps Murphy carve out an independent image and takes a potential outside group adversary off the table.
It’s possible that the competitive nature of the district (Mitt Romney carried it with 52 percent in 2012) and Domino’s personal wealth combine to make Murphy sweat this out. But for now, we’re changing our Rothenberg Political Report /Roll Call rating of Florida’s 18th District from Lean Democratic to Democrat Favored .
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