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Kentucky Poll: Attitudes about Obama, health care and spending favor Rand Paul

Coming up Thursday: At 6 p.m., see poll results from the Lexington mayor's race.

PDF: Detailed poll results

By Bill Estep – bestep@herald-leader.com

Kentuckians’ attitudes on three key issues — President Barack Obama, health care reform and government spending — tilt Republican Rand Paul’s way in the U.S. Senate race, according to a new Kentucky Poll.

The central tactic of Paul’s campaign has been to link his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jack Conway, to Obama, and the numbers bear out the political wisdom of that move.

More than half — 56 percent — of likely voters in the statewide poll said they disapprove of Obama’s performance as president. Only 38 percent said they approve of the job the president is doing, while 6 percent said they weren’t sure.

One key reason is the Democratic president is simply more liberal than many voters in Kentucky, said political observers and people contacted in the poll.

Kentucky Poll: Rand Paul leads Jack Conway by 5 points

Coming up: In the Herald-Leader Wednesday, find out how the mayoral candidates fair in head-to-head match-ups.

PDF: Detailed poll results

By Jack Brammer and Bill Estep – jbrammer@herald-leader.com

With less than two weeks to go before the Nov. 2 election, Republican Rand Paul holds a slim lead over Democrat Jack Conway in their race for the U.S. Senate, a new Kentucky Poll shows.

Paul, a favorite of the Tea Party movement whose campaign has focused on limited government, holds a 5 point lead over Conway among likely voters — 48 percent to 43 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

“That’s not a great majority of a lead for Paul but I believe it’s almost impossible for a conservative Republican to lose in Kentucky this year,” said national political analyst Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

The telephone survey of 625 likely Kentucky voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. It was conducted on Monday and Tuesday of this week by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Lexington Herald-Leader, WKYT-TV in Lexington and WAVE-TV in Louisville.

Other political observers said the relatively high level of undecided voters in the poll underscores the fluidity of the race.

Kentucky Poll results on U.S. Senate race coming at 6 p.m.

Coming up: In the Herald-Leader Wednesday, find out how the mayoral candidates fair in head-to-head match-ups.

We’ll have new Kentucky Poll results on the U.S. Senate race here and on Kentucky.com at 6 p.m. tonight, followed by complete analysis and further poll results in Thursday’s Herald-Leader.

The poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research of Washington, D.C.

CNN/TIME poll puts U.S. Senate race in dead heat

FRANKFORT – The U.S. Senate race in Kentucky between Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Rand Paul is in a dead heat, says a CNN/TIME poll released Wednesday.

The telephone poll of 869 registered voters in the state gave each candidate 46 percent of the vote.

Five percent of those surveyed said they would not vote for either candidate and 4 percent had no opinion.

The CNN/TIME poll differs sharply from a SurveyUSA poll last week that showed Paul with a 15-point lead in the race among likely voters. The Conway camp claimed that poll overestimated the turnout of voters without a party registration and underestimated registered Democratic turnout.

Pollster.com average shows Paul leading Conway by 6.5 points

Two polls released last week showed Republican Rand Paul leading Democrat Jack Conway in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, raising Paul’s lead as calculated by Pollster.com’s polling average to 6.5 percentage points.

The Courier-Journal/WHAS11 Bluegrass Poll showed Paul up by 15 points, while a cn|2 Poll showed him leading by nearly 5 points.

The Bluegrass Poll, an automated telephone survey of 561 likely voters conducted by SurveyUSA, showed Paul leading Conway 55 percent to 40 percent, with 5 percent undecided. The poll, conducted Aug. 30-Sept. 1, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

The cn|2 Poll, a live-interviewer telephone survey of 802 likely voters conducted by Braun Research, showed Paul leading Conway 42.1 percent to 37.4 percent, with 20.4 percent undecided or favoring another candidate. The poll, conducted Aug. 30-Sept. 1, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.

The latest polling gives Paul a 47.1 percent to 40.6 percent lead over Conway in Pollster.com’s average of all independent polling in the race. We excluded a poll sponsored by the Conway campaign from that average. When it’s included, the average shows Paul at 44.9 percent and Conway at 39.6 percent.

Paul’s 6.5 percentage point lead in the Pollster.com average is up from 6.1 points on August 23.

– John Stamper

New poll shows Beshear-Abramson with lead over Williams-Farmer

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and his running mate, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, hold a 7 percentage point lead — 44 .4 percent to 37.7 percent — over the newly formed Republican ticket of Republican Senate President David Williams and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer in next year’s race for governor, a new cn|2 Poll shows.

The poll released Thursday by Insight Communications also shows the Beshear-Abramson ticket leading the GOP ticket of Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and state Rep. Mike Harmon of Danville by about 19 percent — 48.6 percent to 29.4 percent.

In the poll, Beshear did not reach the key 50 percent threshold in any question about next year’s election. About 44 percent of the 802 likely voters in the poll said Beshear deserves a second four-year term while about 36 percent said he does not. About 20.5 percent were undecided.

The cn|2 Poll was conducted between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 by interviewers from Braun Research Inc. of Princeton, N.J. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.

The Williams-Farmer campaign, which was officially announced Wednesday, responded by releasing an internal poll that showed them with a 4 percentage point lead — 48 to 44.

PDF: Detailed poll results

–Jack Brammer

cn|2 Poll: Newberry leads Gray by 13 points in Lexington

PDF: Detailed poll results

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry leads Vice Mayor Jim Gray by 13 points in the race for Lexington government’s top job, according to a new cn|2 Poll.

The telephone survey of 503 likely voters in Fayette County found that 45.5 percent support Newberry and 32.4 percent support Gray in the Lexington mayor’s race. Another 20.5 percent remain undecided.

The poll, conducted by Braun Research, Inc. of Princeton, N.J., on behalf of Insight Communications’ news division, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. The survey was conducted on Aug. 23 and 24.

In the non-partisan race, Newberry held a more than 20 point lead among voters who identified themselves as moderate or conservative, while Gray led among liberal voters by more than 8 points.

The poll also found that, aside from the economy, “traffic and road construction” is the top issue on voters’ minds in Lexington (25.8%), followed closely by “government accountability” (21.8%).

– John Stamper

Pollster.com average: Paul 47.1%, Conway 41%

The Pollster.com average of independent polling in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race shows Republican Rand Paul leading Democrat Jack Conway by 6.1 percentage points.

Paul’s margin over Conway has narrowed by 3 points since August 2. Paul’s average has dropped from 49.4 percent to 47.1 percent while Conway’s average has increased from 40.3 percent to 41 percent.

We excluded from the average a June poll conducted on behalf of the Conway campaign that showed him leading Paul by 2 percentage points. When that internal poll is included in the average, the gap between Paul and Conway dips to 3.4 percentage points.

Reuters: Rand Paul leads Jack Conway by 5 points

Democrat Jack Conway, left, and Republican Rand Paul are running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

A new poll released by the Reuters news agency shows Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul leading Democrat Jack Conway by five points among likely Kentucky voters.

Paul leads Conway by 45 percent to 40 percent, according to the telephone poll conducted by Ipsos. Among a broader pool of registered voters, the two candidates are tied at 40 percent each.

The survey of 600 registered voters was taken Aug. 13-15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The margin of error for the smaller sample of 435 likely voters is plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.

The poll also found that:

  • 53 percent of those surveyed said they had not heard about a GQ magazine article that alleged Paul took part in an apparent college prank that included blindfolding and tying up a woman, telling her to smoke marijuana and making her worship an “Aqua Buddha”.
  • “Kentucky Republicans do not enjoy the big advantage in campaign enthusiasm found in other state and national polls. Republicans lead Democrats only 59 percent to 57 percent in having a high level of interest in the race.”
  • Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has an approval rating of 52 percent.
  • Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has an approval rating of 50 percent, compared to President Barack Obama’s approval rating of 44 percent.
  • – John Stamper

    New poll shows Paul increasing lead over Conway

    U.S. Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul is increasing his lead over Democratic nominee Jack Conway, according to a new poll released Thursday.

    The cn|2 Poll, conducted for Insight Communications, shows Paul leading Conway 40.6 percent to 31.4 percent, with 27 percent undecided.

    A poll by the cable company released July 22 showed Paul leading Conway 41 percent to 38 percent, with 19 percent undecided.

    The survey of 802 likely voters was conducted by interviewers from Braun Research Inc. of Princeton, N.J., from Aug. 2 through Aug. 4. It has a margin of error of 3.46 percentage points.

    About 44 percent of respondents in the poll said they had a favorable view of Conway compared to about 50 percent for Paul.

    –Jack Brammer