Poll: Alan Grayson leads Patrick Murphy by 1 point in Democrats’ U.S. Senate race


A poll commissioned by two progressive Democrats’ groups supporting Alan Grayson finds that the Orlando congressman leads U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy in a tight race for the Democratic nomination for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat.

The poll, commissioned by Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America, was conducted by Public Policy Polling on March 23 and 24, and gave Grayson 33 percent and Murphy, of Jupiter, 32 percent, while 35 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they were undecided.

The poll, publicly released Friday morning, did not ask about Democrat Pam Keith of Palm Beach Gardens.

The poll also found that Florida Democrats may be unimpressed by the Democratic institutional support that Murphy has received.

When the respondents were told, “The national Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has endorsed Congressman Patrick Murphy in the U.S. Senate primary. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has publicly called on Alan Grayson to drop out of the race,” 15 percent said they were more likely to support Murphy and 24 percent said they were more likely to support Grayson. Another 61 percent said the news would not affect their preferences.

The poll is a bit of an outlier compared with several other recent polls, which all showed Murphy ahead, by anywhere from three to 14 points. One thing is certain, shown in almost all the polls: undecided voters, or voters who are not yet familiar with the candidates, still are the largest block.

The new PPP poll was taken of 829 likely Florida Democratic primary voters. The first question had a margin of error of 3.4 percent, which means the two candidates are statistically tied. The second question was of a split sample of just 468 voters, and had a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

“Alan Grayson is leading by a hair,” he two progressive groups stated in a joint statement issued Friday morning. “It’s symbolic of our times that voters are not persuaded by the DC establishment as they try to rig the game in favor of Patrick Murphy.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


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