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Beshear +31 over Williams in WHAS11/CJ poll

by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 1, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 12 at 2:17 PM

(WHAS11) - Republican David Williams has only five weeks to narrow Governor Steve Beshear's huge lead in the polls.  Yet, in the latest WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll, Beshear appears to only be getting stronger in the Kentucky governor's race.

The incumbent Democrat has widened his lead seven percentage points since July's WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll.

Kentucky Governor's race
569 Likely Voters

Beshear  57%
Williams 26%
Galbraith  8%
Undecided 9%

Margin of error +/- 4.2%

Beshear now leads Senate President David Williams by 31 points in the WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll conducted by Survey USA, September 22-27.  The poll identified 569 likely voters statewide.

Independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith grabs 8 percent support.

Beshear has staked his campaign on his first term, saying he has spared Kentucky painful cuts despite the recession.  Yet, Beshear has declined several debate invitations that would allow Williams and Galbraith an opportunity to challenge his claims and his record.

"While the Governor is always gratified by the support of Kentuckians, he remains focused on creating jobs in every corner of Kentucky," said Beshear campaign spokesman Matt Erwin.

Kentucky Governor's race
Republican voters

Beshear  28%
Williams 51%
Galbraith  12%
Undecided 10%

Margin of error +/- 4.2%

28 percent of Republicans surveyed are crossing party lines to support Beshear.  Williams, who is touting a conservative agenda on issues such as taxes, abortion and neighborhood schools, has only a ten percent lead among self-described conservatives in the poll.

Kentucky Governor's race
Conservatives

Beshear  37%
Williams 47%
Galbraith  8%
Undecided 9%

Margin of error +/- 4.2%

The Williams campaign complains that Beshear has outspent them and aired negative, misleading ads "covering up his abysmal record."  It also says that the poll was conducted prior to recent newspaper articles that questioned Beshear's job creation numbers.

"David is going to keep fighting for his plan to eliminate the state's income taxes, enable neighborhood schools in Jefferson County, and get our state budget under control," said Campaign Chairman Donald Storm.  "We've got a real plan to make Kentucky the best state in the nation to create jobs, and we won't stop taking our positive message to the people until the last minute before the polls close in November."

By Region
Beshear lead

Western            +41%
Louisville area + 35%
North Central   + 26%
Eastern               +17

By region, Beshear's smallest lead is in Eastern Kentucky where he enjoys a 17 percent advantage.  His largest lead is a 41 percent margin in Western Kentucky.

Only 17 percent of Kentucky voters have a favorable opinion of Williams in the poll.  Beshear has a 51 percent favorability rating.  The Williams campaign is banking on increased scrutiny during the last month of the race to dent Beshear's image and cut into a seemingly insurmountable lead.

Opinion of David Williams
Likely voters

Favorable      17%
Unfavorable  38%
Neutral           20%
No Opinion    24%
Margin of error +/- 4.2%

Opinion of Steve Beshear
Likely voters

Favorable       51%
Unfavorable   20%
Neutral            20%
No Opinion       9%
Margin of error +/- 4.2%
 

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