Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's happening in Kentucky?

I feel a little odd as a Democratic pollster sticking up for Mitch McConnell, but if Rand Paul wins next week (as it seems likely he will) it is not going to be a repudiation of the Senate Minority Leader.

64% of the Republicans planning to vote for Paul approve of the job McConnell is doing to only 24% who disapprove. Even though Jim Bunning has endorsed Paul and McConnell hasn't, 63% of Paul voters like McConnell better to only 23% who pick Bunning. McConnell's overall approval with Republicans, at 68/19 is fine.

Paul's supporters by and large like McConnell and their votes will not be a repudiation of him. What a Paul win will show is that McConnell can't just wave his magic wand and get Republicans in the state to vote for whoever he wants in primaries for other offices but honestly is there any politician in the country who has that much power in a state?

So a Paul win will not be because voters don't like McConnell. The next explanation folks are going to want to throw out there if he wins is that it's a huge victory for the Tea Party movement. I'm not so sure about that one either though. Only 28% of Republican voters in Kentucky actively identify as members of the Tea Party and while Paul has a 19 point lead with them he also has a 17 point lead with the ones who don't consider themselves part of the movement.

The two polls we're going to do this weekend on Tuesday's races are for the PA-12 special election and the Kentucky Republican Senate primary. I am interested in your poll testable theories on why Paul is beating Grayson so badly, and we will put some of those questions on the survey to try to get a better understanding of what's driving Paul's victory. It may not be something that can easily be boiled down to numbers but it's worth a shot so please give us your suggestions!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Career politician vs citizen doctor. Find out if they know which is which and how they vote.

Also an issue breakdown. Rand Paul is unassailable on spending and limited government while being attacked on national security issues. What is the percentage that cares most about the domestic issues as opposed to the national security issues.

Does Grayson hold any weight amongst those who care about national security issues? Or is it possible Republicans are moving away from Bush era Wilsonianism?

wt said...

Support for the Iraq war; support for military action against Iran if they refuse to end their nuclear program; Cheney v. Palin approval numbers.

DBL said...

What is your primary reason for choosing your candidate?

1) He's more conservative.
2) He's more moderate.
3) He's an outsider.
4) He has more experience.
5) I don't like his opponent.

Anonymous said...

Is it important that more than 99% of his contributions come from small donors not special interests?

I think he is running as a reformer, a politician who will fight for the interests of the average person against those who owe their jobs to the special interests they serve.

PNC said...

I second the first Anonymous commenter's suggestion that you poll the economy vs. national security and how that correlates with Paul vs. Grayson.

I think you should also poll on some of the Pauls' weirder views. Maybe something along the lines of "Do you think Rand Paul believes...[insert weird libertarian view here]". Then ask "Do you think Rand Paul's views on this question are closer to your own than Trey Grayson's are?"

One other thing...while you're doing Kentucky, could you poll the Kentucky 2012 Republican Presidential primary? You decided to add Gingrich to your permanent pool of candidate choices after he split the vote with Palin in one state, and I'd like to see if he has that same effect in most states.

Anonymous said...

I know you probably have already considered these questions, but I will throw a few out there that popped up in my head.


Have you attended a tea party event?
This is to decipher those who say they are in the tea party with those who have actually participated and get a better feeling of who they support. Might be to small to break out with who they voted for.


How did you first become knowledgable of the candidate?
Word of mouth (neighbors, family friends)
Research on your own (internet and/or attended local events)
Ads (TV, radio, newspaper, and/or mailers)
Watched debates
Watched local news (tv, radio, and newspaper)
Watched national news (faux news, right nuts like Limbag or other local crazies on the radio?)


Determine how they obtain most of their information on the race:
How have you received your information on the candidates?

Word of mouth (neighbors, family friends)
Research on your own (internet and/or attended local events)
Ads (TV, radio, newspaper, and/or mailers)
Watched debates
Watched local news (tv, radio, and newspaper)
Watched national news (faux news, right nuts like Limbag or other local crazies on the radio?)
--From what I have heard is Paul got more national tv exposure did this have any influence? Although for some reason he has been on MSNBC and cnn.


Have you personally been contacted (in person or over the phone) by the campaign of one of the candidates and/or one of their supporters, trying to influence you on your opinion of the candidate?

Candidates campaign
Supporter of candidate?
Both
Neither

I like DBL's question or a version of it as well.

Hope I helped

Anonymous said...

Why are you voting for the candidate you chose?

-Send a message to Republican Party
-Like the candidate
-Dislike the other candidate/candidates
-Choosing who you think would have a better chance in general election
-Endorsement from other politician
-Endorsemtn from an organization (right to life, others)


Did the endorsement of Grayson by Mitch McConnell:

Only reason you will vote for Grayson
Make you more likely to vote for Grayson.
Less likely to vote for Grayson.
Only reason you will vote against Grayson.
Indifferent


Did the endorsement of Paul by Sara Palin:

Only reason you will vote for Paul.
Make you more likely to vote for Paul.
Less likely to vote for Paul.
Only reason you will vote against Paul.
Indifferent


Did the endorsement of Paul by James Dobson, after changing from endorsing Grayson:

Only reason you will vote for Paul.
Make you more likely to vote for Paul.
Less likely to vote for Paul.
Only reason you will vote against Paul.
Indifferent

Anonymous said...

1. Which candidate do you trust more to vote consistently conservative?
Trey Greyson or Rand Paul

This addresses whether Greyson’s former party affiliation and support of Clinton is a serious drag.

2. Which candidate is less likely to be controlled by special interest groups/corporate interests?

Anonymous said...

And your reason for not polling the closer democratic primary is...? I would see if libertarians vs moderates vs conservatives and how they break down for Paul and Grayson.

Anonymous said...

Can you poll the PA-12 Dem Sen Primary? (Sestak vs Specter) Thanks.

 
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