A new CNN/Time Poll released Thursday shows 50 percent of likely voters in Kentucky support Republican nominee Rand Paul while 43 percent back Democratic nominee Jack Conway in their U.S. Senate race.
The race is much tighter among the larger pool of registered voters in the poll, with Paul holding only a 2-point advantage, 46 to 44 percent.
The telephone poll was conducted Oct. 20-26 with 1,336 registered voters, including 785 likely voters. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for registered voters and 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.
The media poll said Paul’s lead can be explained in part through a significant gender gap.
In it, Paul holds a 16-point advantage among men, while Conway holds a four-point lead among women.
Paul leads Conway by 37 points — 63 percent to 26 percent — among independents.
CNN/Time also reported that perceptions of the Tea Party movement, which backs Paul, are affecting the race to be decided next Tuesday at the polls.
“Paul picks up nearly nine in ten voters who support the Tea Party movement, and Conway has almost the same share of voters who oppose it,” said CNN polling director Keating Holland. “But 35 percent of likely voters are neutral towards the Tea Party, and unlike other Senate races, the Republican has a small advantage among that group.”
Three percent of the respondents in the CNN/Time poll said they would not vote for either Conway or Paul. Four percent had no opinion.