LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- Five-term incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell leads Republican primary challenger Matt Bevin by a 47 point margin in an internal McConnell campaign poll released to WHAS11 News.
Mitch McConnell 68%
Matt Bevin 21%
Margin of error: ±4.0%
In a memo to the McConnell campaign, pollster Jan van Lohuizen of Voter Consumer Research said the poll was conducted this week, August 18, 19 and 20, with live telephone interviews of 600 likely Republican primary voters in Kentucky.
A McConnell campaign attack ad that accuses Bevin of misleading people about his educational background on his LinkedIn page was released on the final day of the three day poll.
"Very few respondents would have had the opportunity to see the ad prior to completing the poll," van Lohuizen wrote.
Nevertheless, van Lohuizen's polling memo includes a survey result which shows a 53 percent negative reaction to "Bevin’s dishonesty about his educational background."
"The survey results show that Republican primary voters are comfortable with Mitch McConnell as their choice in the Republican primary and intend to vote for McConnell in 2014," van Lohuizen wrote.
Bevin, meanwhile, told WHAS11 that the reaction to his campaign by GOP primary voters has been "extraordinary."
In an interview on Tuesday, Bevin described "packed houses" at appearances in Barren County and Northern Kentucky.
"People are hungry for something real," Bevin said. "They're hungry for the truth."
"They want true conservative leadership," Bevin continued. "I've received contributions, financial and offers of assistance from people from just about every state in the country. The outpouring of support is extraordinary. I have people who have been flying in, I had people in my offices (Tuesday), people who had flown in a group of people, who have flown in on their dime and on their time to kick the tires. They want to know how they can get on board and support this. These are the kind of people who are going to be game changers."
Bevin said several Republicans who attended his campaign announcements wearing McConnell stickers in protest of his challenge are now volunteering for the Bevin campaign.
"(McConnell's) support is crumbling, it's eroding," Bevin told WHAS11. "His signs of desperation are evident everywhere."
"My job is not to win this by 'he said she said,' Bevin continued, "That's a silly game; its a losers game. It's what people who are desperate to do."
"I'm going to win this by talking about the issues, about things of substance."