Dem poll: Allen West trailing by 9 in reelection bid
By ALEXANDER BURNS |
10/1/12 7:01 AM EDT
Firebrand Florida Rep. Allen West is losing his reelection fight by a 9-point margin to Democrat Patrick Murphy, according to a poll taken for the Democratic group House Majority PAC.
The survey, taken by the firm Garin-Hart-Yang Research and shared by a source with POLITICO, found Murphy leading West, 52 percent to 43 percent.
There's been a dribble of conflicting polling information coming out of the South Florida race lately: West released a poll last week showing him ahead of Murphy by 9 points, while a different GOP poll found Murphy up by 4 points.
There's reason to take the House Majority PAC poll seriously. Not only is it taken by a gold-plated Democratic pollster, it's also weighted significantly in the GOP direction. The poll sample was composed of 44 percent Republicans and 37 percent Democrats -- a stronger GOP lean than the actual congressional district.
Murphy comes out ahead anyway in the survey thanks to an 18-point lead among independents. His 9-point advantage over West exceeds President Barack Obama's 7-point lead over Romney in the district.
"Allen West has become extremely polarizing, and he generates more NEGATIVE feelings (47%) than POSITIVE ones (40%)," the pollster writes in a memo. "In summary, the sharp turn away from Congressman West among Independents shows that his hyper-partisan record is being rejected, and that Patrick Murphy has strong prospects of putting this seat into the Democratic column."
House Majority PAC has reserved $1.5 million in TV ads against West and is currently running its second TV ad against the freshman congressman.