Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kentucky Senate Tightening

The Kentucky Senate race is looking more competitive than it has in months, with Republican front runner Rand Paul leading Dan Mongiardo just 42-38 and Jack Conway only 41-40.

Republicans' hold on the seat would be more secure if Trey Grayson was somehow able to come back and win the primary in the final two weeks of the campaign. He has healthier leads of 43-35 against Mongiardo and 42-34 against Conway.

Paul had larger leads over both Conway and Mongiardo when PPP looked at Kentucky in December but as voters in the state have gotten to know him better his negatives have risen a lot faster than his positives. 28% of voters see him favorably, up from 26% in the previous poll. But 35% now have a negative opinion of him, a 12 point increase from 23% in the earlier survey.

Paul's really seen a fall in his standing with independent voters. Where he previously led Conway and Mongiardo by 33-34 points with them, that's now fallen to 15-20.

It looks likely Republicans will nominate their weaker general election candidate by picking Paul in two weeks, but Democrats are likely to do the same thing at this point. Mongiardo is the least popular person in the race, with 36% of voters seeing him unfavorably to 24% with a positive opinion.

It's still going to be an uphill battle for Democrats to win in Kentucky in this political climate, but Paul does have the potential to be a general election liability for the Republicans and this race could end up being more competitive in the fall than is currently anticipated.

Full results here

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

There have been a ton of attack ads and Dobson addressed one of the points in that by switching from Grayson to endorse Rand on Monday -- after the poll was taken. I think that would have shifted things considerably.

Interesting that your numbers contradict the Rasmussen poll last week saying Rand Paul would be the stronger candidate against Democratic contenders.

I had heard another poll was due out today, but I don't know if they are polling the GOP v. Dem candidates head to head or not.

As for the general, Rand hasn't even begun to address his general election bona fides yet, so I am not concerned on his behalf.

HoustonCPA1980 said...

These numbers differ substantially with the Rasmussen poll released this week showing Paul beating both Conway and Mongiardo and Conway by 16% and 9%, respectively. He is shown to fare much better than Grayson in a hypothetical matchup against either Democratic candidate. The Rasmussen poll, released on Monday 5/3, can be viewed at http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections2/election_2010/election_2010_senate_elections/kentucky/election_2010_kentucky_senate

Christian Liberty said...

Paul has better favorability with independents (31-28) than any other candidate: Grayson (18-24), Conway (14-18, Monglardo (15-35). Only Paul is seen as favorable by a plurality of independents.

Independents support the Tea Party (48-31). Likely voters overall support the Tea Party (45-34).

Obama does not even get 40% approval with any age group. Across all age groups, no less than 56% disapprove of Obama.

Similarly, Obamacare does not even get 35% support from any age group. But at least 55% of every single age group opposes Obamacare.

Only Paul gets 30% favorability with seniors. A plurality of seniors prefer the Republican in all 4 possible matchups.

A plurality of age groups 30-45, 46-65, and 65+ support the Tea Party.

Advantage GOP

Anonymous said...

Exactly the opposite of what Rasmussen found.

Rand Paul was blowing out both.

And Grayson struggled vs. both.

JC said...

I think this poll is an outlier, and what's more any negative movement is likely a result of Grayson's relentlessly negative campaign.

Ultimately, it won't matter. In Kentucky, in 2010, there is no way that the Democrats are going to win this seat.

Christian Liberty said...

Even if this is a pro-Democrat outlier poll, it still looks quite positive for Republicans in general and Rand Paul in particular.

Izanagi said...

Wow...again, show them something different and they pile against it like automatons. Mind you nobody in KY is paying attention to intra-party warfare, but by the time Rand Paul is shown to be the eccentric gadfly he is to ALL Kentuckians, I'm sure you'll be eating some crow...or maybe not, since the right never lets facts get in the way of their warped worldview.

James said...

Why are you and Rasmussen so far apart in polls?

I am a dem , so I hope your polls are correct!

Anonymous said...

Tom, why did you put Gary Johnson on your poll, didn't you know that the Paulites will flood the zone?

HoustonCPA1980 said...

Blogger Izanagi said...

Wow...again, show them something different and they pile against it like automatons. Mind you nobody in KY is paying attention to intra-party warfare, but by the time Rand Paul is shown to be the eccentric gadfly he is to ALL Kentuckians, I'm sure you'll be eating some crow...or maybe not, since the right never lets facts get in the way of their warped worldview.

May 5, 2010 2:44 PM

--------------------------

You are correct about the right rarely letting facts get in the way of their worldview. Bush, Cheney, and Rove are excellent examples of that. But Rand Paul's outlook on foreign policy is so vastly different from the GOP old guard.

Obama continues virtually all of Bush foreign policy measures (covert prisons, torture, Afghanistan, and Iraq to a lesser degree. The worst part about it is that his foreign policy is endorsed by Code Pink. Obama has completely silenced those who were so critical of our actions abroad.

Imperial said...

I think that Rand's negatives going up are your first view of Trey Grayson's attack ads coming into full force. His numbers had to drop down eventually a bit, outsider or not.

 
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