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Conway surges, now tied with Paul in WHAS11/CJ poll

Conway surges, now tied with Paul in WHAS11/CJ poll

Rand Paul, Jack Conway

by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on September 25, 2010 at 10:47 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 25 at 11:11 PM

Three weeks after Republican Rand Paul claimed a 15 point lead in the WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll of Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, Democrat Jack Conway has suddenly closed the gap, and the latest poll shows that the race is now a statistical dead heat.


U.S. Senate Race
Likely Voters
Rand Paul (R)           49%
Jack Conway (D)      47%
Undecided                  4%
SurveyUSA / Margin of Error +/- 4%

Compared to an identical WHAS11/Courier-Journal poll three weeks ago, Conway is up seven points, Paul is down six.  It is the first time Conway has polled above 45% in the general election poll and the first time Paul has polled below 51%.

"Whether that is a result of genuine traction for this particular Democrat, second thoughts about his opponent, or a newly raised consciousness among voters who a month ago were not focused on the contest, I am not sure," said Survey USA pollster Jay Leve.

Facing an uphill battle in a conservative state, in a mid-term election considered especially challenging for Democrats, and against a barrage of attack ads from conservative special interest groups, Conway had already termed himself as "the comeback kid."  The poll is a stunning reversal of another poll released by Survey USA over Labor Day weekend, that showed Paul ahead, 55% to 40%.

Conway has women voters, affluent voters and North Central Kentucky to thank for his surge:

  • The Democrat led among women by a mere three points just three weeks ago, and now leads by 16 points among women, 55% to 39%.  Paul holds a 21 point lead among men.  The resulting gender gap is a whopping 37 point margin.
  • Paul had led by as many as 21 points among voters who earn more than $50,000, and today leads by five.
  • In North Central Kentucky, Paul has led by as much as 22 points, but the race is now dead even in the Bluegrass Poll, 49% each.

U.S. Senate Race
Likely Voters - Men

Rand Paul (R)        59%
Jack Conway (D)   38%
Undecided             2%
SurveyUSA / Margin of Error +/- 4%

U.S. Senate Race
Likely Voters - Women

Rand Paul (R)        39%
Jack Conway (D)   55%
Undecided             6%
SurveyUSA / Margin of Error +/- 4%

 

Conway's surge coincides with his campaign shifting focus almost entirely to Paul's quote that drug abuse was "not a real pressing issue" in the Senate campaign.  Conway has parlayed that quote into a blanket assessment that Paul does not believe drug abuse is a problem and that Paul is "soft on crime," characterizations that Paul says are patently false and dishonest.

Since the last poll, Paul has collected the endorsements of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Kentucky Right to Life and the National Federal of Independent Business.  While Conway secured the endorsement of the Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police in August, prior to the last poll, he has been hammering Paul on the drug issue since then, using a number of law enforcement officers in commercials.

Paul's release of the endorsements of ten Kentucky Sheriffs backfired when two of the sheriffs indicated that Paul had released the endorsements prematurely.

Upon the release of the September 5 WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll, the Conway campaign complained that the survey oversampled Republicans and undersampled Democrats when compared to historical norms of voter behavior.

While pollster Survey USA says the poll results are a direct reporting of the likely voters surveyed and that no party projections are applied, the latest poll does show a voter turnout that more closely resembles the actual party registration in Kentucky.


U.S. Senate Race
Likely Voters

September 5 poll
Democrats          47%
Republicans        42%
Independents    10%
SurveyUSA / Margin of Error +/- 4%

U.S. Senate Race
Likely Voters

September 25 poll
Democrats          51%
Republicans        36%
Independents    12%
SurveyUSA / Margin of Error +/- 4%

Actual Party Registration
Democrats         56%
Republicans        37%
Independents    6%

 

"There is a natural ebb and flow to party composition," said pollster Jay Leve of Survey USA, "I would not make more of this than there is."

 

U.S. Senate Race
Likely Voters – Eastern Kentucky

Rand Paul (R)        53%
Jack Conway (D)   40%
Undecided             8%
SurveyUSA / Margin of Error +/- 4%

U.S. Senate Race
Likely Voters – Western Kentucky

Rand Paul (R)        48%
Jack Conway (D)   45%
Undecided             7%
SurveyUSA / Margin of Error +/- 4%


U.S. Senate Race
Likely Voters –North Central Kentucky

Rand Paul (R)        49%
Jack Conway (D)   49%
Undecided             2%
SurveyUSA / Margin of Error +/- 4%

U.S. Senate Race
Likely Voters – Louisville and surrounding

Rand Paul (R)        47%
Jack Conway (D)   49%
Undecided             3%
SurveyUSA / Margin of Error +/- 4%

 


 

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