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FL-08: Grayson Leads Keller by 4 in New Poll

by: James L.

Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 1:52 PM EDT

The Kitchens Group for Alan Grayson (9/3-6, likely voters):

Alan Grayson (D): 44
Ric Keller (R-inc): 40
(MoE: ± 4.4%)

These are some great numbers for attorney Alan Grayson, who was recently added to the DCCC's Red to Blue program. Keller hasn't been exhibiting a lot of strength as of late -- he recently held back a poorly-funded primary challenge by only a 53-47 margin, and demographic trends in the Orlando area have contributed to Democrats slicing the GOP's voter registration advantage from 14K in 2006 to 2K this summer.

This is an R+3 district that Bush won twice -- by 8 points in 2000, and 10 points in 2004. But the district has seen an influx of Puerto Rican voters who may be tipping the scales in the other direction. The poll also shows Obama and McCain tied at 44% in the district.

This race will be one to watch, for sure. The full polling memo is available below the fold.

James L. :: FL-08: Grayson Leads Keller by 4 in New Poll
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Don't want to get my hopes up too much on Florida
since we've been burned so much in the past. But those are very encouraging numbers for Grayson obviously, but also for Obama.

Would a tie in this district basically mean a win for Obama state-wide? Have the demographics changed that much in this area in the last 4 years? If so, are the pollsters not picking up this trend?

Not only
are there the changes in registration numbers that James included, but here's the demographic rundown:

Total: 639,026
White: 447,266 (70%)
Black: 45,387 (7%)
Asian: 18,363 (3%)
Hispanic: 112,514 (18%)

Total: 746,635
White: 472,230 (63%)
Black: 65,653 (9%)
Asian: 24,561 (3%)
Hispanic: 166,327 (22%)

Total: +107,609
White: +24,964
Black: +20,266
Asian: +6,198
Hispanic: +53,813

And as James pointed out, the bulk of the new Hispanics in the Orlando area are Puerto Ricans, who are eligible to vote. If this district is tied and all districts' boats have risen equally, then, yes, we'd win Florida fairly easily (based on this district's 10-pt spread in 2004). However, since this district has seen a more favorable demographic shift for us than most other Florida districts, it's not that simple. But it's still certainly good.

[ Parent ]
Just to be sure
Those 2000 numbers you posted are for the current configuration of the 8th district and not the pre-2002 version, correct?  I'm thinking they are correct, just making sure since the post-2002 district is more republican than the old one.

[ Parent ]
Would a tie in this district basically mean a win for Obama state-wide?

More likely than not, yes he would.  I'd probably give Obama a 75-80% chance of winning statewide if he wins the 8th district.

Have the demographics changed that much in this area in the last 4 years? If so, are the pollsters not picking up this trend?  

Yes they have.  In metro Orlando area and surrounding counties almost all of the population boom is Hispanic and to a much lesser degree AA.  This is also the case in many other Central and South FL districts.  

[ Parent ]
Very good numbers
I've got a lot of faith in the power of a quirky, well funded ad campaign. Grayson spent a lot of money and ran a lot of ads during the primary, powerful ads.

I think he can win this one.

not surprising
Keller almost lost last year, winning 52-47 against Charlie Stuart who received no national help or attention, and, because of his expensive primary with Alan Grayson last year, was outspent overwhelmingly by Keller. I always expect this one to be close, along with FL-13.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

Goes to show you...
that gerrymandering can only take you so far. In 2001, Jeb's minions redrew this district into something resembling a check-mark to boost their margins. However, I think this poll bears out the fact that gerrymanders only last so long. The R's outsmarted themselves in PA and paid the price for it. I think FL could see something similar this year (maybe not as dramatic, but an end result closer to how the state breaks down).

Yup, the Florida 2001 map
is beginning to look like a dummymander  

[ Parent ]
I hope so
The Florida map may well collapse this year as the PA map did in 2006.  Unfortunately the R's will still have full control over the Florida map in 2012, which is unlikely to be the case again in PA.

[ Parent ]
The advantage of that
is that they'll be forced to clean up their shit. As far as I can tell, there's really no way to further pack Democrats, so it's hard for me to see how they draw more Republican districts without endangering more of their own incumbents. One option is to ask Jeff Miller to take an early retirement and parcel his district out among several other Republicans.

If they lose a seat or two in the next few cycles, they'll probably decide to retaliate as the Dems did in Georgia in 1991. That's when the fun starts. . .

[ Parent ]
this is exciting
grayson's a candidate who more than any other this cycle i can think of would hold the bush administration's balls to the wall ... guy's been suing war profiteers, for fuck's sakes. and i didn't think he stood much of a chance because he seemed to initially fizzle on fundraising...   anybody have any recent numbers on him?   after this poll hope van hollen coughs something up...

It is difficult to get the news from poems, but men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there. --William Carlos Williams

Is he even trying to fundraise?
He looks like a self-funder to me.  I considered donating to him, but figured he has enough money of his own that he's willing to use, and that I ought to donate to a candidate that actually depends on donations.

28, gay guy, Democrat, CA-08

[ Parent ]
I work in FL-08
From driving around all the time, there are more signs for Grayson than there are for Keller. I don't know the politics too well around here as I am from Michigan and my official IRS residence is in Fort Lauderdale, but there isn't as much GOP lopsidedness here as I expected from this area of Florida.

On a side note, I received a phone call from the Obama campaign saying they are opening a new South Orlando Office and invited me to the open house on Thursday night. I volunteered for help in the office and data entry type volunteering.  


Yes, I work on the outskirts on the 8th district
As in many Florida districts getting all of these new Hispanics and to a lesser extend blacks registered and to the polls makes all the difference.  Hispanics may make up a soaring % of the residents in many of these swing districts in FL, but huge numbers aren't registered to vote.  Contrary to polular belief most of them ARE eligable and are not here illegals.  

[ Parent ]
Grayson seems to be a crapshoot
He is going to be a huge success or a miserable failure.  Stuart was the safe pick to run in this district, Grayson the unorthodox outsider.  We all did under estimate Grayson's appeal in the primary, not sure how he'll play to voters in the general.

He's a risk but I think he's a risk that can win. I think someone so different will play well this year.

[ Parent ]
Matt Taibbi...
seems to respect Grayson, and has talked with him quite a bit on war profiteering.  I did a profile of Grayson back in July for the Bruin Dems blog.  Anyone that can gain Taibbi's respect is good in my book.

(Bernie Sanders is the other person Taibbi really respects.)

[ Parent ]

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