The Campaign Spot

Polls: Allen West Still Ahead, but Can He Hang On?

You don’t see public polls in House races very often; pollsters have a tougher time ensuring that the people they call are in the right district, because the area-code lines rarely precisely align with the district lines.

But this morning there are two polls out in Florida’s 18th district, a race that features one of the most well-known, and headline-grabbing, House Republicans, Rep. Allen West.

In 2008, West ran against Rep. Ron Klein and performed quite strongly in a tough year. In the 2010 rematch, West won handily, 54 percent to 46 percent, as Florida Republicans rolled to big gains across the state. But after the 2010 census, Florida’s 22nd district shifted to D+5; West is now running in the adjacent 18th district, which scores R+1.

Because of his outspoken conservative views, West represents one of the Democrats’ top targets, and both West and his opponent, Patrick Murphy, are well-funded.

One poll out this morning has West barely ahead:

A Sunshine State News poll of 752 ‘Likely’ voters conducted by Harrisburg, Pa.-based Voter Survey Service (VSS) gave a slight, 49 percent to 48 percent edge to West — with just 3 percent remaining undecided entering the final weeks of the Congressional District 18 contest.

But the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows West with a solid lead:

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is leading his Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy by nine points, according to a new FLDemocracy/WPTV/ TCPalm poll released Thursday. Among likely voters surveyed, 51 percent support West and 42 percent back Murphy. Eight percent are undecided.

If West hangs on, it will likely be in part because of West using hard-hitting ads like this one:


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