TO: Interested Parties
FR: Christie Stephenson, Campaign Manager
RE: Stephanie Murphy Heads Into Election Night in Strong Position
Stephanie Murphy proved she is a tough campaigner when she upset John Mica in 2016, flipping Florida’s 7th district from red-to-blue and unseating a 24-year incumbent. Following that election – a rare bright spot for Democrats on Election Night 2016 – Murphy never took her foot off the gas pedal, serving her community tirelessly in Congress and running a formidable campaign. The strength of Murphy’s bipartisan track record in Congress, which she has communicated to voters across the district, gives her the momentum heading into Election Day.
Early vote numbers in Florida’s 7th Congressional District are encouraging, with Murphy’s field team continuing to hit thousands more doors on Election Day up until polls close at 7:00pm. Murphy’s strong presence in a bellwether district is poised to help Democrats up- and down- the ballot in a pivotal area of the state.
EARLY VOTE TOTALS SHOW DEMOCRATIC ENTHUSIASM IN FL-07
Democrats hold a narrow advantage in early voting statewide, with Murphy’s district notably delivering a larger margin over Republicans than in 2016. Over 5,900 more registered Democrats have voted early or by mail heading into Election Day than Republicans, a larger advantage than Democrats held at this point in 2016 (4,800), despite this being a midterm election cycle. Democrats were down by over 10,000 votes in FL-07 heading into the last midterm Election Day, 2014.
Stephanie Murphy’s Record of Accomplishment = Winning General Election Message
In 2016, voters were introduced to Stephanie Murphy and her powerful story: a refugee, an immigrant, a former businesswoman and educator, and a former national security specialist at the U.S. Department of Defense. They responded to her message of change, commitment to service, and genuine promise to reject hyper-partisanship and Washington gridlock.
In 2018, voters know that Stephanie Murphy has lived into that promise. In just two short years in Congress, she’s been all over her district, and racked up an impressive list of accomplishments. At a time when voters are fed up with a gridlocked, Republican-led Congress, outside groups have named Stephanie Murphy the most effective House freshman and the seventh most bipartisan in the entire U.S. House.
She led the effort to repeal the Dickey Amendment – ending the 24-year ban on the CDC being able to research gun violence. She brought home more than $100 million in emergency funding for Florida schools and universities when they took in Puerto Rican students after Hurricane Maria. And, she passed a law that strengthened the transition program for veterans when they re-enter civilian life. Murphy has also prioritized serving her constituents through casework, recouping over $1.6 million in earned benefits for thousands of seniors and veterans.
Murphy Ran Aggressive Campaign to Bring This Message to Voters
Stephanie Murphy has proven beyond a doubt that a Democrat can serve this district well. Yet Murphy has never taken her eye off the need to reach out directly to voters to ask them to allow her to continue serving them in Congress.
Murphy has raised significant resources to communicate her strong message at the doors, in the mail, online, and on television, bringing in over $3.2 million from a broad base of supporters to run an aggressive campaign, the likes of which has not been seen in central Florida. Her operation has prioritized meeting voters where they are, for example by hitting tens of thousands of doors, and reaching Hispanic voters online in their language of choice.
Stephanie Murphy has been able to reach out to voters with an authentic, positive message that is driven by her accomplishments. In a district where voters with No Party Affiliation make up 30 percent of the electorate, Murphy has been able to break through with her record of standing up to both parties and the White House when they’re wrong and working with them where she can find common ground.
Murphy Built Strong Base of Bipartisan Support and Endorsements
It’s clear that Stephanie Murphy is the most qualified candidate to serve Florida’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House. You don’t have to take my word for it; Murphy has earned numerous endorsements, ranging from the Orlando Sentinel, to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to leading labor unions representing tens of thousands of Florida’s working families.
From the Sentinel:
“In an age of hyperpartisan politics, Stephanie Murphy gives voters hope for something better. The incumbent Democrat showed her congressional colleagues it’s possible to disagree on policy without Americans pounding each other senseless before retreating to their corners… Murphy is made of the stuff that made this country great. And we think that will serve her constituents well in these troubled times. We recommend sending Stephanie Murphy back to the U.S. House.”
Murphy’s Win in 2016 May Have Been an Upset, but it was No Accident
In 2016, many observers weren’t quite sure what to make of the young woman of color who decided to mount a longshot campaign against a longtime incumbent. Two years ago, Stephanie Murphy proved that a first-time, female candidate with a national security background could win in a Republican-held suburban district with hard work and a winning message.
In 2018, there is no mistaking that Stephanie Murphy is in strong position heading into her first re-election based on the strength of her accomplishments and her commitment to run a campaign befitting a competitive swing district in a swing state. To judge this race by her opponents’ campaigns is to miss Stephanie Murphy’s game-changing work ethic – the kind of work ethic that allowed a Vietnamese refugee to go on to occupy the kind of corner offices that her parents used to clean at night to make ends meet. Work ethic that earned Stephanie Murphy the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. Work ethic that has put her in the driver’s seat heading into Election Night.