Sometimes being nasty doesn’t work. In the race to determine who will represent Florida’s 8th Congressional District, Republican Daniel Webster has jumped out to a seven percentage point lead. Webster, leads Alan Grayson 43-36% in the survey of 559 likely voters conducted Sept. 25-27 for Sunshine State News. TEA (“Taxed Enough Already”) Party candidate Peg Dunmire drew 6 percent and NPA hopeful George Metcalfe garnered 3 percent, while 9 percent remained undecided (2 percent cited “other” and 1 percent refused to state).
Grayson, who lives by the rule, “If you can’t say anything nice, say it on TV” has increased voter “uncomfortableness” with his candidacy in the past few days with two campaign ads, which where not just nasty, but were outright lies.
Digging deeper, the numbers look even worse for Grayson as 51 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable view of the Orlando-area congressman.
“Grayson has real problems here,” said Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which conducted the poll for Sunshine State News.
“He’s even more unpopular than the president, which is not surprising given how controversial he has been with his rhetoric, overall style and TV ads.”
Lee added, “It’s fascinating that both Grayson and the president have virtually the same image (a positive/negative ratio of 34/51), but Grayson is actually disliked more by independents (36/47 favorable/unfavorable) while Obama is only 36/37.”
Andy Sere, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington, D.C., said the Central Florida district “is ripe for a Republican pick-up, even if we weren’t running against Alan Grayson.”
Calling Grayson’s views “so far outside the maintstream,” Sere predicted that “a large swath of independents and conservative Democrats will hand him a resounding defeat in November.”
Tom Gaitens, Florida director for FreedomWorks, said the Washington, D.C-based tea group has focused on the CD8 race “from the beginning.”
“Grayson is an obnoxious antagonist to tea partiers and raised the ire of the movement,” Gaitens said. “He’s probably the biggest lightning rod-type candidate in the nation.”
Grayson is much more than a tea party antagonist. Alan Grayson, is known for being nasty to just about everyone who disagrees with him, whether it be a former Vice President (a Vampire) or a consultant in the treasury department (K street whore). The progressive Congressman from the Disney World area of Florida has a unique combination of traits a nasty disposition combined with an aversion to the truth. His conduct has disgraced the office in which he sits in and Florida’s 8th Congressional District is ripe for a change.
But Webster has challenges, as well. Though the SSN poll shows him getting 72 percent of the GOP vote, Dunmire picks off 10 percent of Republicans and Metcalfe gets 1 percent.
“They have the potential to be real spoilers in this race and could allow Grayson to squeak through,” Lee said.
The key appears to be what happens with the remaining 10 percent of Republicans who are undecided (47 percent of all undecided voters remaining).
Metcalfe appears to be a factor with independents, attracting 10 percent of that vote (vs. Webster at 33 percent, Grayson at 42 percent and Dunmire at 2 percent).
Among poll respondents who said their chances of voting this fall were “excellent,” Webster retains a 7-point advantage over Grayson, 44-37.
Lee said it will be key whether the “third-party” vote evaporates closer to Election Day.
“A good reference point is last year’s New Jersey governor’s race when Chris Christie defeated incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine,” Lee observed.
“There was an independent candidate getting double-digit support in all the polling (including ours), but by the time Election Day rolled around voters realized it was a wasted vote and he only got 7 percent, which meant Christie was able to defeat Corzine with less than 50 percent of the vote. If I were Webster, I would be trying to convince conservative Republicans that a vote for Dunmire/Metcalfe is a vote for the incumbent.”
Webster’s image with Republicans is healthy (58/4 favorable to unfavorable) but 30 percent still don’t have an opinion of him and 7 percent still don’t know him.
Women hate Grayson even more than men.
“They really loathe him,” Lee reported. With Grayson’s 33/53 favorable/unfavorable rating among women, Webster’s lead among females is much stronger (45/33 over Grayson) compared to a statistical tie (41/40 Webster) among males.
“This is important, because we usually see a gender gap in polling where females tend to vote more Democrat than males, but it’s the reverse in this poll,” Lee said.
Grayson’s campaign manager Susannah Randolph agrees that the female vote is crucial — noting that 53 percent of CD 8’s registered voters are women — but she predicted that Webster’s support will erode.
Hopefully Webster’s lead will only grow, Alan Grayson is a national embarrassment who deserves to be removed from office.