KY-Sen, KY-Gov: Paul Leads by 5, Beshear by 6

Braun Research for cn|2 (8/30-9/1, likely voters, 8/16-18 in parens):

Jack Conway (D): 37 (42)

Rand Paul (R): 42 (41)

Undecided: 20 (16)

(MoE: ±3.5%)

Braun Research continues their biweekly polling odyssey of Kentucky with a freshly-baked survey showing Rand Paul bouncing back to a five-point lead. For those keeping score, these cn|2 polls have bounced back and forth, from 3 and 10-point Paul leads in their first two rounds, to a 1-point lead for Conway two weeks ago.

I’m not too sure if you can stitch together a narrative from high-MoE sub-samples like these, but it’s still interesting:

Paul picked up support from the last poll in Conway’s two stronghold areas from the primary, including his backyard of the 3rd Congressional District that covers Louisville. The cn|2 Poll shows Paul leading Conway by 10 points in the 6th Congressional District that covers Lexington and Central Kentucky.

The poll results for congressional districts has a margin of error of about 8.8 points in this cn|2 Poll.

Conway has narrowed previous gaps in the 2nd Congressional District in west-central Kentucky from eight to four points. And support for the Democratic candidate has swung 17 points in the 5th Congressional District – which covers Eastern Kentucky – over the last two weeks. He went from being down three points to going up 14 points in this latest poll.

This is the second poll in a row where Braun found Conway surging in the Eastern 5th CD. A month ago, Conway trailed Paul by 14% in that district, and now leads by the same margin. Are we seeing the effect of Rand Paul’s call to pull federal funds from local anti-drug initiatives (a particularly salient issue in Eastern Kentucky) at play here? While still respecting that portly margin of error, I’m guessing so.

Meanwhile, we also have some gubernatorial numbers (no trend lines):

Steve Beshear (D-inc): 44

David Williams (R): 38

Undecided: 15

Steve Beshear (D-inc): 49

Phil Moffett (R): 29

Undecided: 19

(MoE: ±3.5%)

By a 44-36 margin, voters say that Beshear deserves a second term. Considering the carnage we’re seeing for other incumbent Dem governors this year, those numbers could be a lot worse. Nevertheless, this should be a very competitive race, although likely less so if the tea-flavored ticket led by businessman Phil Moffett can win the primary against state Senate leader David Williams. Remember — this off-year race is only a year away!

One red flag about this, though, is that I suspect that Braun is using the same likely voter sample for the Senate race as for the Governor’s race. Perhaps two separate samples would have yielded similar results, but I don’t think this is the most methodologically precise approach.

For their part, the Williams campaign has released an internal poll taken by some firm called Got-Focus, showing Beshear down by 4.

30 thoughts on “KY-Sen, KY-Gov: Paul Leads by 5, Beshear by 6”

  1. move on Farmer, great one on Williams. Farmer would have won the primary in a landslide and been favored in the general. I am not sure how Williams talked him into it but I am impressed to say the least. Seriously Farmer would have totally creamed Williams in a primary. Williams is a weak opponent to say the least. Whitfield or Farmer are the best they could hope for. Heck even Northup would be better. Williams is known to be the staunchest opponents to legalized gambling and has been Beshear’s biggest obstacle in getting it. Remember when King Beshear tried to appoint enough Republicans to get the Senate back? He will have a lot of things to attack Williams over to say the least. Opposing legalized gambling is not a view to have and Williams is a VERY prominent opponent over it do to his job. That said Beshear is not Mr. Popularity anymore but I still have hope for him since Williams is the likely candidate. Farmer or Whitfield would probably make this a lean R race. Williams is a tossup.  

  2. To lose five points?  Did that ad about law enforcement hurt him?  Or did Paul just not say anything ridiculous and that was enough to peel off 5 points form Conway and put them back in the undecided group?

  3. If Conway doesn’t solidly lock down the 3rd District. Not worried due to one high MoE sub-sample, but combine that with Yarmuth’s weak numbers in the SUSA poll and we might have a problem here. Assuming both polls are ‘right’.  

  4. “Jack Conway was in favor of the Bush tax cuts when they first passed (in 2001 and 2003), and he’s in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts now,” said spokeswoman Allison Haley.

    Screw him and the horse he rode in on begging for money.

  5. Rand Paul has not said anything outrageous as of late.  Additionally, the Felony Buddha BS actually probably played well in Kentucky.

  6. But this one on KY-Sen seems more believable. The problem is that unlike purple-blue states like Nevada, Colorado, and Florida where teabagger crazy is a serious liability (hence why Angle won’t win here, Buck has a serious problem in CO, and Rubio’s only shot at winning FL is Meek pulling Crist down), Kentucky is much more of a “solid red state” and I suspect tea party ID is higher here. Honestly it’s a bit of a miracle that we’re even competitive here, but that’s thanks to “Aqua Buddha Randy” REALLY turning up “teh crazee”.

    Still, this is FAR from a lost cause and Conway’s numbers will probably improve again as soon as “Ayn Rand Paul” opens his mouth and unleashes “teh crazee” yet again.

  7. For the same reason Vermonters will vote for Jim Douglas for governor but not for Senate, and Wyomingites will do the same with Dave Freudenthal.

  8. Braun has been all over the place, literally, as have there crosstabs and demographics. I don’t think voters have that short a memory to where they are only upset over what Paul says for one week and after that forget it and support him again. I’d say this race is still fairly close.  

  9. I have seen it a lot lately, that could be a partial factor as well as Paul’s Aqua Buddha thing out of the spotlight.  

  10. backroom politics, and I think that will definitely help Moffet’s sort of teabagging anti-establishment case, and, unfortunately for you GOPers, help Beshear’s reelection case. Of course KY seems to really like it’s Democratic governors.

  11. If there will be a fusion establishment-tea party ticket that shoots up the middle and wins both the primary and a tough general, or is the field set?  

  12. Paleo. And we are not going to get candidates in Kentucky that are liberal progressive Democrats. We got the best we can do here, at least compared to his primary opponent.

    I don’t want to nominate a Bernie Sanders, or for that matter a John Kerry of Kentucky because they can’t win. Democrats need to have a big tent party full of liberals, moderates, and conservatives.  

  13. I suggest you be a bit more careful before leveling such accusations in the future.

    However, I’m gonna ask people not to get into an argument over this tangent. Consider yourselves warned — in advance!

  14. if I already got into argument you didn’t want, but I think you were referring to the” Paulbot” accusation.

  15. I’ll settle for a Bob Byrd or Dale Bumpers.  If a candidate cannot support a basic tenent of the party — opposition to tax cuts that unfairly favor the wealthy — what’s the point of having a party?  The “big tent” has turned out to be a big disaster everytime the Democrats have to govern.  How many times to we have to learn that lesson?  You don’t see the Republicans with a “big tent.”  On economic issues, they’re in lockstep.

  16. Democrats need to accept that they are going to have some moderates and conservatives in their caucus if they are going to have a majority.  It is easier for the Republicans to be more ideologically pure, but I think they have learned their lesson for the most part on social issues.  The only thing that there seems to be a demand of ideological unity is on economic issues, which always existed for the most part.

  17. do respect Conway is pretty progressive for KY standards. I mean supporting Bush tax cuts for the wealthy is not a position I would like him to have but it would be very easy for Paul to label him as in favor of huge tax increases if he did not support them. Is that accurate? No. But it is an effective attack. I am not impressed with his position on tax cuts but he is from KY, he has to show differences from the national party. He is already viewed as liberal by a lot of people and he can’t just say he is a moderate and expect people to believe it, he has to actually point to specific things. I wish it was something besides the tax cuts but he is still a hell of a lot better than Paul or Dr. Dan for that matter. He supported HCR with a public option, the stimulus and even called for Simpson to resign. Conway is by far the best you can get in Kentucky.  

  18. And do you see them as a long term successful party? The big tent has turned out bad for Democrats because we have “conservatives” in extremely liberal states holding up bills. We can do better in CT, for example.

  19. Conway is a pretty progressive Democrat especially by Kentucky standards.  He needs to take this stance out of fear of losing suburban voters in KY-3.  One easy way for him to lose KY-3 is to say he is going to raise taxes.

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