LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Hal Heiner has an 14 point lead over James Comer in a poll of Kentucky's governor's race released Thursday by a Republican political consulting and polling firm not associated with any of the campaigns.
Heiner, a former Louisville Metro Councilman, leads Comer, Kentucky's Agriculture Commissioner, 33 percent to 19 percent in the Triumph Campaigns poll, a Mississippi-based company.
Investment manager Matt Bevin is next with 12 percent support and former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott is a distant fourth with four percent support in the poll.
"I think Heiner looks increasingly strong," Justin Brasell of Triumph Campaigns said. Brasell said in a year with few elections across the country, his firm wanted to raise its profile with polls in several states, including Louisiana and Kentucky.
He said Triumph campaigns did not speak with any of the gubernatorial campaigns or potential political action committees before releasing the poll, yet welcomed any business which might result from publicity of the poll.
The poll comes two weeks after a WHAS11/Courier Journal Bluegrass Poll which showed Heiner leading both Comer and Bevin by a 28 to 20 margin.
Both polls use random digit dialing to contact Kentuckians, who are asked to self-identify themselves by party then by how likely they are to vote in the May 19 primary election.
Heiner leads by a 3:1 margin in the Louisville media market, 51 percent to 17 percent for Comer.
Brasell said Heiner is riding an expensive television advertising campaign, and that Comer needs to counter it.
"I think (Comer) has to figure out a way to compete financially," Brasell said, adding that Super PAC's expected to emerge supportive of Comer or Heiner "could be something that stirs up the dynamic."
29 percent of Republicans remain undecided in the poll, including a whopping 49 percent in the 1st Congressional District, mainly in Western Kentucky.
View the slide presentation here: http://triumphcampaigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Kentucky-GOP-Primary-Survey.pdf