Lean Republican. Like a bad disease, this race is so toxic thanks to Grayson that both parties wish they could quarantine it. And House Democrats, who point to Grayson’s self-funding capabilities as an excuse not to get involved, basically can. But for now, the preponderance of evidence suggests that Grayson’s scorched earth “Taliban Dan” attacks against GOP state Sen. Dan Webster are backfiring. Editorial boards have excoriated Grayson for taking Webster’s words grossly out of context by rolling footage of Webster saying “she should submit to me,” when Webster had actually warned husbands against that advice. As one Republican noted, painting Webster as anti-woman is a curious line of attack considering Grayson referred to a lobbyist as a “K Street whore” just last year.
I haven’t seen any new polling in this race, but it’s significant that the most recent poll had Dan Webster outpacing Alan Grayson before the latter’s “Taliban Dan” ad blew up in his face. In a cycle where Republicans and independents are already running away from Democrats, this kind of dishonesty and despicable campaigning is exactly what voters don’t want. Grayson represents a Republican-leaning district, after all, and the implosion of the “Taliban Dan” ad will crater what support Grayson has left after a freshman term in which he aligned himself with the most radical-Left elements of the Democratic Party.
It’s also important to note that Charlie Cook doesn’t usually move races with incumbents to leaning the other direction unless he sees pretty clear evidence that the challenger has built a formidable lead. In the Cook analyses, Toss-Up is usually the bottom for an incumbent running for re-election. If he’s tilting this race to Webster, Cook must see something powerful coming in FL-08.
Meanwhile, just for another reminder of Grayson’s indefensible campaigning, here’s Anderson Cooper dismantling him on CNN: