(POLITICO) CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Patrick Murphy showed up here this week as just another obscure conventioneer few could pick out of a lineup. Then union boss Richard Trumka introduced Murphy, a 29-year-old accountant, as the man challenging Rep. Allen West to a room of labor activists.

“The crowd went wild,” Trumka said in an interview.

It’s been that kind of week for the folks taking on the party’s top villains in Congress, the Republicans the Democrats loathe the most.

Rob Zerban is practically an afterthought in Wisconsin as the guy with almost no chance of beating Rep. Paul Ryan. At the convention, demand for his time has been so high that a staffer traveling with him can barely keep up with all the requests for the businessman.

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