Poll: Obama, Dems Poised to Lose Grayson House Seat

Republican Dan Webster jumps to a 7-point lead
By: Kenric Ward | Posted: September 29, 2010 4:05 AM
Sunshine State News Poll--Alan Grayson and Daniel Webster

In one of the most closely watched U.S. House races in the nation, Republican Daniel Webster now holds a 7-point lead over Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson in Central Florida's 8th Congressional District, according to a new Sunshine State News Poll.

Webster, a former state senator, leads the freshman congressman 43-36 in the survey of 559 likely voters conducted Sept. 25-27. 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). 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."

With controversial TV ads like "Taliban Dan," in which the Democrat tried to portray the Baptist Webster as a religious extremist, "Grayson put himself in the crosshairs," Gaitens said.

"It's his character to say foolish things, and he doesn't handle stress well. He'll see this poll and get more desperate," said Gaitens, who predicts a 10-point victory for Webster.

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.

Female voters are anything but ambivalent about Grayson -- "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.

"Webster's record on women is starting to get out there. As soon as they realize he sponsored a bill to outlaw divorce, opposes abortion in cases of rape and incest, and voted for cuts in funding to domestic violence shelters, they'll see he's incredibly anti-women," Randolph said.

"Alan Grayson is a champion for women's rights, and we will be in a commanding lead," she predicted.

The Democratic Party also is banking that the district's relatively high percentage of minority voters (34.4 percent) will come out again for Grayson on Nov. 2. Grayson knocked off GOP incumbent Ric Keller with 52 percent of the vote in 2008.

Webster spokesman Brian Graham said Grayson's attack-dog style of campaigning will catch up with him this time around.

"Alan Grayson has been caught misleading voters in four different ads this month -- and it's backfiring," Graham said.

"The people of Central Florida deserve better than Alan Grayson's lies and extreme liberal positions. Daniel Webster is the leader Central Florida needs to create jobs and balance our budgets."

Metcalfe says the Republican-Democrat bickering is self-defeating.

"Voters are disgusted with both parties and will support my election in growing numbers. I could not hold my nose and vote GOP just to be betrayed again," Metcalfe said.

And Dunmire believes that the poll vastly understated TEA's power at the polling booth.

"All the polls to date that involved 'tea party' candidates have shown similar results in the weeks and months leading up to the election. Every one of those polls has undervalued tea-supported candidates and this race will be no different," Dunmire said.

Jerry Dorchuck, a Florida-based political consultant, forecast that Webster will "eke out a small victory, thanks to independent voters.

"The tea party activists will, I think, sit back and look at supporting one of their own vs. the prospect of giving the race back to Grayson, and they'll close their eyes and vote for Webster," said Dorchuck, who operates PMI Polling, a non-partisan research and voter-contact firm.

While the Cook and Rothenberg political reports have rated CD8 a "toss-up" and "toss-up/tilt Republican," Grayson still has an edge in personal wealth and campaign cash.

Sere said NRCC has committed $817,000 for advertising and "will do whatever we can to elect Dan Webster."

"The way Grayson is spending money has negated his advantage," Sere added. "His over-the-top and, in some cases, despicable ads have been deemed false. Even left-wing bloggers are coming out against him.

"Dan Webster is the perfect contrast -- a respected statesman."

As for the tea party effect, FreedomWorks, which has pledged to support Webster with yard signs and a get-out-the-vote drive, cautioned that no Republican should take tea movement for granted.

"You will stay in the office by honoring the Constitution, fiscal discipline and free markets. If you stray, we'll come after you too, just like we did with Charlie Crist," Gaitens warned.

The Sunshine State News poll was conducted by Voter Survey Service, a division of Pennsylvania-based Susquehanna Polling and Research. Live calls were made from the VSS telephone call center in Harrisburg, Pa., and the survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.14 percent.


Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 801-5341.

Comments (100)

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9:30AM MAY 7TH 2012
Excellent post
4:21PM APR 25TH 2012
To bad that he lost his seat, it was such a great spot, had the perfect cup holder for 7-11 big gulp, its to bad to see this happen.
6:26PM APR 15TH 2012
yeah that was crazy back in the day! And you just reminded me of this story great post
7:11PM MAR 5TH 2012
great article written here
10:58AM JAN 6TH 2012
I think Alan Grayson is better!!
Lindy See
12:09PM JAN 5TH 2012
Hello I am new here.
Janet H.
12:15PM JAN 5TH 2012
I am new too ;p.
10:41PM JUL 5TH 2012
I think Obama has been doing a great job. Long Live President Obama
8:25PM DEC 29TH 2011
Ho ho, who wuodla thunk it, right?
8:29PM DEC 27TH 2011
Thanks guys, I just about lost it lkoiong for this.
7:40AM DEC 27TH 2011
Supreior thinking demonstrated above. Thanks!
6:20AM DEC 27TH 2011
What's it take to become a sublime epoxunder of prose like yourself?
7:33PM OCT 1ST 2010
to alot of people in Florida --Grayson is a disgrace to the human race..
Ricky Skans
4:49PM OCT 13TH 2010
We all know that Alan Grayson is a liar and a loud-mouth thug.

But, lets not focus too much on that. Dan Webster is a really good guy. I've met him. Some things you aught to know. Dan Webster really likes helping people - that's really what he's all about. He cares about the people of his district and of Florida. He listens.....to everyone, whether they support him or not. He respects everyone.....whether they support his views or not.

Dan Webster believes in God and is guided by his Christian principles. Grayson would have you believe this is a bad thing. It's not. He doesn't shove his religon on anyone. It is Dan's faith in God that helps keep him humble and mindful that he must serve and represent everyone in his district to the best of his ability. What a difference between Dan Webster, who respects all of his constituants, and a guy who hates all people of a particular political affiliation.

Dan Webster believes in our nation as one bound together by what is stated in our Constitution. It's not just some "old outdated rag" as Grayson would have you believe. Our constitution is a compact between government and its citizens that deserves the utmost respect.

Please, take your time to learn about Dan Webster as I have. I'm really impressed with this man, not just for his political views, but because of his humility, respect for his fellow citizens and his ability to lead and go head-to-head with a thug like Grayson.
Ricky Skans
4:48PM OCT 13TH 2010
We all know that Alan Grayson is a liar and a loud-mouth thug.

But, lets not focus too much on that. Dan Webster is a really good guy. I've met him. Some things you aught to know. Dan Webster really likes helping people - that's really what he's all about. He cares about the people of his district and of Florida. He listens.....to everyone, whether they support him or not. He respects everyone.....whether they support his views or not.

Dan Webster believes in God and is guided by his Christian principles. Grayson would have you believe this is a bad thing. It's not. He doesn't shove his religon on anyone. It is Dan's faith in God that helps keep him humble and mindful that he must serve and represent everyone in his district to the best of his ability. What a difference between Dan Webster, who respects all of his constituants, and a guy who hates all people of a particular political affiliation.

Dan Webster believes in our nation as one bound together by what is stated in our Constitution. It's not just some "old outdated rag" as Grayson would have you believe. Our constitution is a compact between government and its citizens that deserves the utmost respect.

Please, take your time to learn about Dan Webster as I have. I'm really impressed with this man, not just for his political views, but because of his humility, respect for his fellow citizens and his ability to lead and go head-to-head with a thug like Grayson.
7:46AM OCT 6TH 2010
One sees Grayson's antics and listens to his statements and his delusional claims and can't help but wonder, does he have some serious psychological problems?

Or is he just a clown and someone with no respect for voters? Either way, there's something seriously flawed about this guy.
12:52PM OCT 8TH 2010
It doesn't matter what Grayson's problem is, be it mental retardation or simply because he's natually a boorish Ahole. He's soon to be a non issue to Florida. His antics will be localized to where ever he happens to be... So if your in front of him at the quicky mart or in traffic, look out!
11:59PM OCT 1ST 2010
is that all you have to say? and why should I agree with you?
convince me...say something intelligent....
7:33PM OCT 1ST 2010
to alot of people in Florida --Grayson is a disgrace to the human race..
7:18PM OCT 1ST 2010
Grayson better learn how to fill and unemployment form out..He is going to need it after November 2nd...
11:57PM OCT 1ST 2010
maybe you can elaborate and say something worthwhile that makes some sense
2:52PM OCT 7TH 2010
I'll say something! Grayson has a pattern of this type of behavior. However, he sunk to a new low when he created the add about his opponent, Daniel Webster. He completely turned around what he said and how he said it. Fortunately, it has backfired on him. No one with his lack of character deserves to be serving the citizens of this great nation. Despite the efforts of Bill Clinton to create a "character doesn't matter" environment, it DOES matter to me and a lot of voters nationwide, not just in Florida.
7:16PM OCT 1ST 2010
Webster has my vote.. This political disgrace Grayson MUST GO... He is 99 cents short of a dollar..He made his money off of other peoples hardships..
5:38AM OCT 1ST 2010
this new sunshine poll showing alan grayson far behind is worrisome ,please remember they're a pro-business group. and always has been anti-grayson..i would wait for other polls then just go by one source
10:47PM SEP 30TH 2010
From what I have seen with on Grayson, he is very courageous. He is the only congressman to have 5 kids, was thrown under a bus as a boy and survived. For those who doubt his character, watch him on:
Watching these 4 videos, sums up his character fully, and should bring desgrace to the GOP and their tactics. He is the only congressman with heart and character.
2:54PM OCT 7TH 2010
You have to be kidding. Character?
nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney
11:50AM SEP 30TH 2010
AIPAC demands Grayson be destroyed.
The 9/11 cover-up must be protected ~
7:55PM SEP 30TH 2010
You will see Grayson win!!!!!!!!!!!
10:42AM OCT 2ND 2010
Have you stepped out in Central Floridia Lately, high umemployment, highest foreclosure rat in the country, and empty commercial spaces everywhere. I don't think so.
5:01PM SEP 30TH 2010
2:32AM OCT 1ST 2010
for the above two posters that say Grayson is going back to DC in Feb2011.... HAAAAAHAAAAAA
30 days to find out young lib tottys.
We'll come back then and remind you you said this.
I promise.
8:50AM SEP 30TH 2010
Bye bye Alan.
Go back to robbing people through your law work.
Hope to never hear from you again.
12:23AM SEP 30TH 2010
The Florida Republican Party has been trying to destroy the Florida TEA Party ever since it began. The Florida TEA Party has fielded 18 candidates for various races across the state, which is really putting the Florida Republican party in a bind. They fear that the Tea Party faithful will turn against them because they can only offer career politicians to go against Grayson and the other Democrats. The Republican operatives in the Orange County Executive Committee said that the Republican Party of Florida would "take care" of the Tea Party - i.e. destroy it - and their methods have been slander, lawfare, and attacking the people that support the TEA Party.

The Republicans and their operatives are estimated to have spent over half a million dollars in legal fees conducting lawfare by the filing of ten different lawsuits trying to force the Florida Tea Party out of this election - and in each case, the Republicans have lost publicly and badly. The most silly lawsuit to date was that the Florida TEA Party was trying to "take away Republican Voters" - like the Republicans OWN these voters. It is too bad they didn't bother to fight the Democrats this hard before Grayson got elected. The Florida courts have ruled that the Florida TEA Party is a bona fide political party and must be treated as such.

The "tea partiers" that viewed the tea party movement as a internal Republican reform movement (and it looks like one of them has already posted on this thread) lost badly when Webster was brought in at the last moment by the establishment. Patricia Sullivan (the leader of that faction) was beaten soundly - and now the "tea partiers" have a choice. They can dump their integrity and support Webster or support Peg Dunmire - who realized quickly that the Florida Republican Party would revert to one of the "Old Guard" party stalwarts to go up against Grayson. The losing "tea party" advocates and the Florida Republicans have been pushing the story that Grayson is supporting the Florida TEA Party because they are trying to discredit the TEA Party and leave Tea Party patriots no where else to go but with the Republicans. This is the group of Republicans that had Charlie Christ as their leader – and supported him until he bolted - and would not support Rick Scott after he won the nomination for governor.

The Florida TEA Party actually stands for something other than the pursuit of power - it stands for a return to the Constitution. The Democrats and Republicans have shown their colors - Grayson being a socialist misogynist, and Webster being the loyal Party Chieftain who is unwilling to be tested in debate against Peg Dunmire. Is this what Central Florida wants their choice to be between? Peg Dunmire has been in the health care industry for thirty years, has run her own business, and knows what needs to get done to get the country back on its feet. More government or more crony political dealings is not the way to do it!
12:32AM SEP 30TH 2010
And what do you suggest is the way cutting down government? cutting down all that the poor have? all that the growing poor in American can hope for? cutting down programs that make the playing field equal so the ones who are now powerful can be challenged by weaker competitors? you want to cut government? you want to take away social security and medicare? you want all of those with preexisting conditions to not ever have coverage? you want to take the consumer protections away? You trust the black heart of the Enterprenuer you feel Business owners will take care of these people? you feel the market will take care of them PLEASE GIVE US A BREAK GET OUT OF THE SMALL GOVERNMENT UTOPIA ....WE NEED A BIGGER GOVERMENT !!! to face the real world ....the constitution was written in the past, it has to be changed to reflect the ever changing world in many ways the CONSTITUTION IS ARCHAIC, it is an old document written for those times
11:00AM OCT 26TH 2010
get a job
11:30AM OCT 7TH 2010
This is the kind of left wing ramblings that worries people. The constitution is the greatest document ever written in terms of democracy and freedom. Here's a thought, quit whining and looking to government to bail you at and try hard work and benefit from the fruits of your own labor.
10:42PM OCT 3RD 2010
The Constitution is everything, but NOT ARCHIC. If it was not for those evil "Black heart" Enterpreuers you would not have a job. My point is futher proven that when employees pay pay roll taxes and property taxes and that is what really drives local and state gov. Yes, I agree that Corps. and businesses should pay thier fair share for services and the operation of gov. It is not prudent to tax these same people who provides employment to the community, out of business.

If you have not noticed we are tax from cradle to grave for just about every service and product.
JFK, Reagon, GW Bush reduced taxes and gov size and as a result revenues to the US Treasury were at record levels. There was record employment growth and as anther result that you have overlooked is , the poor was making a come back and were turning into the middle class. The folks that were not working was either they had some terrible disbility, disfuntional or they did not wish to work.

The United States Enjoyed the highest GNP Growth during these times. Our national debt , which was high for me, was in line with what we had coming in. When revenues were down Obama and the Congress continued to add services. This what we use to call "FUZZY MATH"

As Americans we give more to take care of the poor than anyone elese in the world. There is so many out reach programs from Folks , like Joyce Meyers, Joal Oldstein, Cathoic outreach , big business, programs in every form. It nice that our Federal Gov. helps those in need, but the majority comes from private sector. THIS MEANS AFTER WE HAVE BEEN TAXED AGAIN AND AGAIN, WE AMERICANS, find in our hearts to do the right thing, and help our fellow citzens who are down on their luck!
Gov. hand in long term help to the is really not help. There are many folks that do not want to grow, becuase that have ,food stamps,Hud Housing and medicare. There is reaaly no motivation to go forward and the problem turns to generation to generation.

So How much Gov help is too much???
10:54AM OCT 2ND 2010
Did you just get off the plane from Russia? In every poor performing ecomody the proven way to spark the ecomody is to lower taxes and gov. stay out o fthe way of business. Now its the Gov. responiblity to create a beneficial enviroment for business to grow, but to wieght down businesswith hi health care cost and high taxes is not the way. Big always with proven case fact has failed. JFK, Reagon and GW Bush turned a poor ecomody arount from a failed polices from liberal and big gov. leadership.
These conservative leades turned the problem around in about 18 months. Obama and GRayson (since 07)has been in power for 18 months and of of thier social programs have failed or has not proven to be long term solutions.
You must have short term memory,as a industrial supplier in Orlando, during the Bush years I had to beg people to drive for me. You could of quite one job and find one 2 days latter.
Thats the differace!
10:28PM SEP 30TH 2010
With all your concerns for the poor you should do some critical thinking. It's pretty well known that the percentage of poor in America is growing. How could that be as we have been expanding the government, passed laws to redistribute wealth, eliminated ALL income taxes from the poor and created a welfare system to support even those who won't work at all.
With all that help, and growing, how is it the wage gap and the percentage poor keeps rising?
There have been periods when the percentages weren't increasing, but it wasn't during a period of increasing govt and regulation.
I give to support the poor and I pay taxes (presumably for the good of all) and I see my local charity is infinitely better at helping people than the govt. I probably would never convince anyone like yourself, so I'll save the time, but I wish you would consider just why our founders believed in a limited govt. All you have to do is witness an encounter between your govt and a private citizen and you'll see how you can be squashed by the feds. There are no laws to protect you. The best chance you have is a constitution which LIMITS what govt can do to you. In the famous words, give me liberty or give me death, the speaker knew of what he spoke.
8:59AM SEP 30TH 2010
Dear Marxist Mahilena,
When has big government ever resulted in prosperity? The "poor" in the United States have a better standard of livng that the middle class in most of Europe. When has making "the playing field equal" resulted in excellence? Show me this utopia the size of the united states please. What made America different, and the Constitution unique and eternal is the principle which eludes you: that private property is the guardian of all other rights. To the extent we surrender our property and wealth to the government, we erode our freedom. Canada completed a study (The Cost of Wait Times) that concluded the only way their health care system will remain viable will be to push "non workers" to the back of the health care line. Nothing is free, you moronic socialist. People create wealth, not governments. The governments job is to protect the means for producing wealth, not steal it from people who work hard. The first entrepreneurs of this country, businessmen like Franklin, were the ones who created police and fire brigades, not the government. Charity should never be the business of government. All that does is give power to politicians instead of the poeple. If you believe that politicians and big government beaurocrats will keep your best interests in mind and not abuse their power, you are an idiot who should just move to North Korea. Our Congress have voted themselves rich pensions and exemptions from many laws...have they given you yours yet?
9:49AM SEP 30TH 2010
What are you another Glenn Beck idiot....Charity has to come from social justice, and it is the business of the government to protect those in need...the poor in this country are growing everyday and let me tell you they are many times worse off those in other countries....people are just not considered people they are considered only money making opportunities....this is not right and the Government has to step in to help because nobody else will.....talking abou t idiots you do certainly come accorss as one just like your Beck mentor
Dee Smith
2:20PM OCT 5TH 2010
where is that gravy train, I want to hop on but I am afraid they will go bankrupt like amtrak. I know when we run out of money from the the 2 to 5 % that are paying the bills, I can depend on china who will own us by than to MAYBE let me survive. you THUNK!!!
10:39PM SEP 30TH 2010
If you truly believe it is the governments' role to distribute social justice you will be sorely disappointed. In the marxist system you embrace, they achieve that equality by appointing a ruling class to determine what you will do and how you will live.
As I put it to a socialist friend of mine, "the avg family income in the US is around $40k. So, in your wildest dreams you want all families in America to have exactly $40k - no one gets more and no one gets less."
Now, that guy that's been working 60 hours a week to earn more, you are going to limit him and give it to the guy who decides he's just too sophisticated to do physical work. It wouldn't take very long until the guy working 60 hrs a week decides he'll do a little less, and what happens? Pretty soon the avg family income drops to $30k per year and on and on.
In my job I used to work a little with communist and former communist countries. You cannot believe how their view of work is so much different than ours. They literally have no work ethic.
I'm all for supporting the working man in this country. I'm all for making sure the powerful don't abuse their power and deny anyone the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But, what you are supporting is a nightmare and it will not help the poor or the workers at all.
1:45AM OCT 1ST 2010
You are telling me we have work ethics here?????give me a break ...incompetence reigns everywhere in American Businesses TODAY!!!!!!!
1:43AM OCT 1ST 2010
Phil I donot embrace any Marxist system....I am a business woman and been in business all my grownup years and successful at it....you guys are always going to extreme exagerations YES WE NEED SOCIAL JUSTICE and a govermnet that is always looking out for the weakest. I have seen enough abuses on my board meetings and the greed to make money and more concern about costs savings than about better employees....we need Unions to protect the workers and we are talking about American Democratic institutions to carry this out not any weird Marxist tyranical crap you are referring to...I come from a Cuban American family and believe me I know all about communism and I reject it but I also reject Capitalist abuses!!!!!!!!

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