In first TV ads, Chris Murphy walks the walk

WASHINGTON – Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy will launch his first television ads on Wednesday in one of the quietest Senate races in the nation this year.

The ads don’t mention Murphy’s challenger, Republican businessman Matthew Corey, focusing instead on the senator’s annual walk across the state.

“I have an obligation to not just wait for people to call my office or write my office.  I have to be out there in Connecticut, talking to people. That’s why I do this walk,” Murphy says in one of the 30-second spots.

The other ad also shows the senator on his trek from Plainville to Danbury, speaking to constituents along the way.

“The people I meet are working sixty hours a week – who barely have health insurance – they tell me their problems,” Murphy says in the ad. “I pick up ideas about what I need to be doing in Washington.”

One couple says “we talked about health care,” while another woman says, “I chatted with him mostly about gun control.”

Murphy’s campaign has raised and spent far more money than Corey’s. The senator, in his first bid for re-election to the Senate, had raised about $13.5 million as of July 25 and spent about $5 million.

Corey, who owns a commercial window washing business and a popular bar in Hartford, raised about $31,000 and spent about $23,000.

The race is a sleeper in a volatile election year where a handful of incumbent Democratic senators are fighting to keep their seats. However, political analysts have put Murphy’s seat in the “safely Democratic” column.

Murphy’s fundraising advantage has allowed him to donate $290,000 of his campaign funds to the Connecticut Democratic Party and spend more than $500,000 hiring Revolution Messaging, a political advertising firm that says “we’re leaders in progressive strategy.”

To date, Corey has taken a much simpler approach to getting his name out, using his much smaller campaign war chest to pay for lawn signs, flyers, tee-shirt and Facebook ads. His campaign also hired the digital ad targeting company El Toro, paying the firm $3,000.

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