Governor Steve Beshear maintains a commanding lead in the latest poll released by Public Policy Polling on Tuesday of the Kentucky governor's race. Click here for the pdf results.
Steve Beshear (D) 55%
David Williams (R) 28%
Gatewood Galbraith (I) 10%
Public Policy Polling is affilated with Democratic candidates yet is regarded as a reliable pollster. The polling firm skewers Williams, however, in its analysis of the numbers:
More than anything else this is because Williams is one of the worst candidates a party's put forth in a plausibly competitive Gubernatorial race in recent memory. Only 21% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 54% who view him negatively. Even with Republicans he's barely seen positively by a 41/29 margin and with Democrats (9/70) and independents (16/55) there are virtually no voters with a favorable view.
PPP adds that Beshear is unusually popular.
Beshear has a 57% approval rating, with only 30% of voters giving him bad marks. Out of 42 sitting Governors PPP's polled on those numbers put Beshear in a tie for the 4th most popular with Tennessee's Bill Haslam, behind only Dave Heineman of Nebraska, Mike Beebe of Arkansas, and John Hickenlooper of Colorado. Combine one of the most popular Governors in the country with one of the worst challengers imaginable and you get this blow out race.
PPP sees the governor's race as a lost cause for Republicans with the GOP's bigger concern that williams will be a drag on other statewide races.
That could really come into play especially in the races for Auditor, Secretary of State, and Agriculture Commissioner, all of which look like toss ups right now. In the Auditor race Democrat Adam Edelen leads Republican John Kemper III 34-31. In the Secretary of State race Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes leads Republican Bill Johnson 38-35. And in the Agriculture Commissioner race Republican James Comer leads Democrat Bob Farmer 37-36. Those are all contests that could go in the GOP's direction if the party's voters step up their level of engagement.
In 2 other statewide contests the Democratic candidates hold wider leads. Jack Conway's up 47-36 for reelection as Attorney General against Republican challenger Todd P'Pool. Conway's favorability numbers dropped all the way to a pretty dreadful 34/52 spread in the closing days of his Senate run against Rand Paul last year, but now he's at 38/35, suggesting that campaign didn't do him too much permanent damage. Fellow Democrat Todd Hollenbach leads with 43% for Treasurer to 28% for Republican K.C. Crosbie and perhaps most notably 16% for Libertarian Ken Moellman. While third party candidates rarely end up doing as well in the end as they poll a couple months out from an election, that figure still reflects a pretty high degree of unhappiness with both political parties.