Well, Florida Democrats needed some good news, and today that news might have just been delivered.
As we know, Kendrick Meek is dead in the water. Marco Rubio looks to be our next Senator. In addition, Alex Sink just can’t shake Rick Scott off her tail, even though he looks more incompetent with each passing minute. Still, Sink’s unprofessional behavior at last nights debate didn’t help.
But today a poll was released by Voter Survey Services, which is a Republican firm that usually favors Republicans by quite a large margin. In this poll, 3.7% margin or error, Webster is leading Grayson 48% to 41%.
Ok, this might not sound good at first, but listen. First, with partisan polling firms, you can usually narrow the gap between the two parties. A good rule of thumb that I have used in partisan polls (which has proven to be accurate in 2008) is that there is a 6% difference between the two parties (have used averages over the years to come up with this figure). So, if you take 3% away from Webster, that is 45%. If you add 3% to Grayson, he is at 44%. Yep, easily within the margin of error.
Secondly, we really don’t know how the “Peg Dunmire Effect” will work in this election. Some polls had her over 20 points, while some had her at zero. She will have some sort of impact on the race, but we just haven’t been able to get a firm number on how much of an impact she will have. And with Webster being the GOP’s boy in the race, Republican polling firms will want to make the threat from Dunmire look smaller than it actually appears. And as we all know, Dunmire takes votes from Webster.
Even with this positive news, Grayson still has an uphill battle. Grayson will lose in Lake and Marion Counties, he did in 2008. In fact, he will lose by a larger margin than he did before. But if he is able to get over 57% of the vote in Orange County, this district is his.
And what is even better news for Democrats is that Dan Webster is about the best candidate that the GOP can throw up there. If Grayson is able to defeat Webster, it is highly unlikely that any other Republican can beat Grayson. Andy Gardiner and Rich Crotty might have a chance, but Webster is their big dog.
So, Central Florida Democrats, there might be a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.