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Murphy Leads Dems in Sweep of Federal Ballot. Is 2020 Next?

November 8, 2018 By Staff
Murphy Leads Dems in Sweep of Federal Ballot. Is 2020 Next?

Chris Murphy won another six years in the U.S. Senate, but he may be on the ballot again in 2020.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) led six Connecticut Democrats in sweeping the state’s federal races on Tuesday night, ensuring at least two more years of unanimous Democratic representation for Connecticut in Washington, D.C.

With most precincts reporting, Murphy and five Democratic U.S. House candidates led their Republican opponents by comfortable margins.

OfficeRepublican Candidate, and Share of VoteDemocratic Candidate, and Share of Vote (* = incumbent)% Reporting
U.S. SenateMatt Corey - 40.13%Chris Murphy* - 58.75%94.35%
U.S. House, First Congressional DistrictJennifer Nye - 35.25%John Larson* - 63.65%100%
U.S. House, Second Congressional DistrictDanny Postemski, Jr. - 35.50%Joe Courtney* - 62.12%100%
U.S. House, Third Congressional DistrictAngel Cadena - 38.94%Rosa DeLauro* - 61.05%77.78%
U.S. House, Fourth Congressional DistrictHarry Arora - 39.11%Jim Himes* - 60.89%100%
U.S. House, Fifth Congressional DistrictManny Santos - 43.98%Jahana Hayes - 56.01%98.71%

Five of the six, including Murphy, are incumbents, and all five incumbents have represented in Congress since at least 2009.

The one newcomer is Representative-Elect Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) in the Fifth Congressional District. Hayes was recruited to run by Murphy, who used to represent the district in the House, and is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party. The Fifth Congressional District was once competitive for Republicans – Andrew Roraback lost his race for the seat by less than 10,000 votes in 2012 – but Hayes earned a convincing 12-point win over Republican Manny Santos on Tuesday night.

None of the results in federal races on Tuesday night were particularly surprising, but one question looms over them all: what will Murphy do next?

Reclaim Connecticut has tracked Murphy’s flirtation – sometimes intentional, sometimes not – with a 2020 presidential run. The junior senator is not high on the lists of most D.C. types yet, given several other senators (Warren, Sanders, Harris, Booker) have bigger, bolder profiles than he does.

But it’s not hard to imagine the ambitious young senator – he’s 45 – staging a test run in 2019, visiting early states like Iowa and New Hampshire. The latter state, which will hold the Democratic Party’s first primary in February 2020, is a short drive away from Murphy’s turf.

Murphy made a national name for himself on two broad issues – gun violence and foreign policy. If he runs for president in 2020, this is how he could set himself apart from less experienced senators (Harris, Booker) and from senators who are focused like a laser on the economy (Warren, Sanders).

Even if Murphy falls short, a presidential run could give him national exposure. Such exposure could put him on the eventual Democratic nominee’s vice presidential shortlist, or line Murphy up for a Cabinet position should a Democrat win the presidential race in 2020.

Either way – run or not – Murphy doesn’t have to worry about reelection to the U.S. Senate again until 2024.