GOP Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania is the Republican congressman who recently got busted for not only having an affair on his wife, but suggesting to his mistress that she needed to get an abortion.
Considering Murphy easily won the district in November as part of the new breed of Trump Rust Belt "Economic Anxiety" Republicans, his hypocritical stance on abortion may actually be far more damaging than the affair to his Republican constituents. But as Martin "BooMan" Longman points out, Murphy's district is exactly the kind of race Democrats must win in 2018 if they want any shot of taking the House back.
There’s even a second extramarital affair disclosed in the leaked documents that dates back about a decade. But it’s Murphy’s hypocrisy in being a staunch anti-choice politician who asked his mistress to get an abortion that is getting most of the headlines. When that is taken in combination with the even more troubling information about his erratic and abusive behavior toward his staff and on the roadways, Murphy is definitely getting into Freezer Cash territory.
If he actually decides to run for reelection, a Democratic challenger should have a shot at beating him. Most likely, even a victorious challenger would vote with the Republicans a lot of the time in a (probably vain) effort to retain the seat. It wouldn’t necessarily add a lot of political value unless it became the deciding seat to determine control of the House of Representatives.
But, unlike New Orleans, the areas contained in the 18th Congressional District were competitive not too long ago. It’s actually vitally important that future Democrats do considerably better in the district than Clinton did, because as I’ve already mentioned, it made up more than half of Trump’s statewide margin of victory. For me, this is practically Ground Zero for the 9/11-style devastation of the 2016 presidential election.
The Democrats have plenty of reasons to want to take advantage of Murphy’s implosion here.
And Martin is right. Democrats didn't even bother to run anyone against Murphy in the district in 2016. They gave the House seat away and Murphy has owned the seat for almost 15 years.
Now Democrats have a real shot here, and as far as I know, nobody's lined up to challenge Murphy yet, but at least some Democrats are willing to try, so that's better than "No candidate at all".