Congressional hopefuls may face recognition challenge - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Congressional hopefuls may face recognition challenge

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Democrat Pat Murphy and Republican Rod Blum face the age-old question: what's in a name?

Both are running for the open seat in Iowa's 1st Congressional District, and both are from Dubuque, and not well known outside the immediate area. This could present a problem of recognition, since the 1st District spans much of the KWWL viewing area, including metros like Waterloo and Cedar Rapids.

Murphy has served as a state senator for years, and Blum is a businessman. Now, Murphy's campaign claims to have a slight edge in the race for recognition. According to their own study, they say 61% of voters polled recognized Murphy's name, while 59% knew Blum.

"We are not shocked by this margin at all since Pat Murphy is a career politician whose State House District is entirely encompassed within the First Congressional District," said Keegan Conway of Blum's campaign. "This is actually a positive for us since Rod is a small business owner who has never held elected office and his name ID is only 2 points lower than Murphy's."

Murphy's people say the numbers show he is in a good position come November.

"This poll shows that voters are responding to Pat Murphy's record and focus on strengthening the middle class," Aaron Bly, Campaign Manager for Pat Murphy said. "We are continuing to talk to voters across the district, gaining the strength and support we need for Election Day. "

Still, 61% and 59% of nothing is still nothing, and no one polled in downtown Waterloo recognized either candidate Wednesday evening.

Both campaigns said they plan to address the recognition issue.

"To continue to drive up Rod's name recognition outside of Dubuque we are making thousands of direct voter contacts each week to inform Eastern Iowans about Rod and his common sense solutions to reignite the economy," Conway said.

There is some overlap in the recognition study, since 61% and 59% do not equal 100%.

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