Elections
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)  

Obama cuts ad for Senate candidate for Chris Murphy

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

President Barack Obama has cut an ad endorsing Connecticut Senate hopeful Rep. Chris Murphy.

Murphy currently holds a narrow lead over Republican Linda McMahon in the race to fill retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat.

“I know Chris Murphy,” says Obama, speaking directly to the camera. “Chris has a real record of job creation here in Connecticut, and a jobs plan that puts the middle class first. And I know Chris Murphy will always stand up to those who would turn back the clock on women’s health. I know the stakes are high. And I need Chris Murphy as a partner in the United States Senate. Connecticut, I hope you will support him.”

Watch the ad:

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This is the first ad Obama has cut for any Senate candidate this cycle.

In a very blue state, Murphy has struggled at times in the polls, and though he leads McMahon by six points in the most recent poll from Rasmussen, he has been unable to extend his lead beyond double digits.

McMahon tapped into her vast personal fortune and began hitting Murphy with a barrage of ads before the primary was even over, and Murphy, who finished the primary with less cash than she did, had to struggle to keep up in the air war.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has in turn had to put money into the race to help bolster their candidate.

One Republican official suggested that the president cutting an ad was a Hail Mary.

“This has the look and feel of Massachusetts 2010, when they also sent in Obama to try and save a similarly bad candidate,” said a Republican official on background.

McMahon communications director Todd Abrajano said the ad showed “how desperate national Democrats are to drag Chris Murphy across the finish line on election day.”

“Washington is clearly concerned that Linda McMahon’s momentum in this race is going to give Connecticut their first female Senator in the state’s history, and they’re pulling out all the stops to ensure that that doesn’t happen,” he added.

But Democratic consultant Ed Peavy called it a “strong close for Murphy” that McMahon would struggle to overcome. He noted that McMahon has an ad on the air encouraging Obama voters to split their ticket and vote for her, a necessity in a Democratic leaning state. This ad, Peavy said, undermines that message.

“I think that’s kind of lights out for McMahon,” he said.

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