Allen West leads in Florida slugfest

In a wild, slug it out race, Republican Allen West is leading the incumbent Ron Klein in Florida's District 22 according to the latest Sunshine State poll:

Republican Allen West narrowly leads U.S. Rep. Ron Klein in a bruising battle for South Florida's 22nd Congressional District, a new Sunshine State News Poll shows.

West leads Klein 47-44 in the survey of likely voters conducted Oct. 17-19. Nine percent of respondents are undecided.

West, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, lost by 10 points to Klein in 2008, a strong year for Democrats. But with Republicans surging this fall, West is picking up more independents, along with solid tea party support.

"West has to be the slight favorite here simply because of the turnout differential," said Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which conducted the poll for Sunshine State News.

Lee reported that West's 3-point lead grows to 5 points among respondents who say their chances of voting are "excellent" (49-44) and 4 points among "2x" voters, or those who cast ballots in both the '08 and '06 general elections (48-44).

Both candidates are feeling the effects of harsh, negative advertising in the closely fought race. Klein has a 39/43 favorable/unfavorable rating while West has an almost identical 40/4

Lt.Col West is a candidate I have supported in both runs and I hope his lead continues through the election. The President was down there to campaign and raise money for Klein.