The national media’s obsession with Rand Paul has been a blessing for his opponent Jack Conway.
38% of Kentucky voters are less likely to vote for Paul because of the coverage. 29% are more likely and 33% report that the national media had made no difference in their opinion. 42% of Kentucky voters believe that the national media has been generally unfair to Paul. The national media, not his campaign, has shaped Paul’s image and message.
The majority of voters in Kentucky are voting for or against Paul not for Conway. Most voters don’t have an opinion of Conway, 40% of voters have yet to form an opinion of Conway in comparison with the 24% of voters who are unsure of their opinion of Paul. Still in a horse race Conway and Paul are neck and neck: 42:42. Conway could just as likely be any unnamed competitor and would likely receive relatively the same amount of support.
The national media has highlighted Rand Paul’s divisive personality and platform. Kentucky voters are not choosing between two candidates but voting one up or down. Elections like these can be worrisome—defensive voters may end up with someone they don’t know with an agenda they don’t support.
In order to secure his chance for a successful outcome, Conway needs to gain support based on his own merits. Voters need to know Conway and his platform. Paul’s media attention has made his name and message clear to the majority of Kentucky voters. With so many people unsure of their opinion of Conway (including 35% of Democrats), he has the ability to shape opinions and earn votes. If Conway can get his message out he has the opportunity to seize the undecided voter to ultimately beat Paul.
For the full Kentucky Senate Poll go here.