Democratic poll says Allen West-Patrick Murphy race a virtual tieby George Bennett | August 30th, 2012
TAMPA — Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy is in a virtual tie with U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Palm Beach Gardens, in a new poll being trumpeted today by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The DCCC said a poll it commissioned by Grove Insights gives Murphy a 47-to-46 percent edge. The survey of 400 likely voters was taken Aug. 21-24 with a 4.9 percent margin of error.
The DCCC released a three-paragraph pollster’s memo but not the complete poll. The memo says West is viewed favorably by 43 percent of District 18 voters and unfavorably by 38 percent. His job approval/disapproval percentages are 41/52.
West campaign manager Tim Edson but declined to reveal any of West’s internal polling numbers.
“I think we are doing very well,” West said earlier in the day after a Florida delegation breakfast. “I take nothing for granted. I believe in the Colin Powell theory of military operations — that you use overwhelming force and power to crush your opposition.”
West has been running mostly positive TV ads since June to try to define himself to a mostly new set of voters in Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18. Murphy has run ads for the past month that criticize West, and a PAC backed by $250,000 from Murphy’s father has run an attack ad against West as well.
West on Wednesday called Murphy a “chump” and today criticized his challenger, who is a vice president in his family construction business, for not agreeing to West’s request for four debates.
“I find it absolutely amazing that an incumbent is the one asking for debates and the challenger is runing away from it. I think it’s hilarious,” West said.
The candidates have mutually agreed to one debate so far.