Klein and West battling for front-runner spot in Florida grudge match

Florida Rep. Ron Klein (D) and Republican challenger Allen West have been engaged in a sharp debate over who's leading their House race rematch.

West's campaign said its own recent polling gives the Republican, who challenged Klein in 2008, a 48-to-42 percent lead over the incumbent. But a new survey shows the Democrat leading by 5 points -- 48 to 43 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

The poll by Harstad Strategic Research surveyed 504 likely voters from Sept. 20-22. It was conducted for Project New West, a Colorado-based think tank.

The survey is the first indication that there has been little fallout from the recent Florida Democratic Party mailer, which was sent to voters containing West's Social Security number.

West's camp had suggested voters may become sympathetic to the Republican over concerns about identity theft. Twenty percent of the district is over 65 and seniors are disproportionately victims of identity theft, which may have caused a backlash against Klein.

West's family signed up for identity theft-protection as a result of the mailer.

More in Senate races

Grayson enters Senate race, creating Florida primary fight for Democrats

Read more »