Chandler's new poll shows him up by 14 points; Barr camp says that means Barr will win

09/19/2012 01:07 PM

Results of an internal poll the campaign of U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, released on Wednesday shows him with a 14-point lead with 48 days to go before the election.

The poll, conducted by the Mellman Group in mid-September, shows Chandler at 51 percent and Barr with 37 percent among likely voters in Central Kentucky’s 6th congressional District. The poll showed another 3 percent going to independent candidate Randolph Vance, according to a release from the the Chandler campaign.

“Despite his negative campaign strategy, Kentuckians just aren’t buying what Andy Barr is selling,” Chandler’s campaign manager Eric Nagy said in a statement. “No matter how many corporate executives he dresses up as coal miners in his ads, our poll shows that Barr’s plan to leave seniors high and dry while giving tax breaks to millionaires doesn’t play in Central Kentucky.”

The poll showed Chandler leads Barr by 15 points among independent voters (48 percent Chandler, 33 percent Barr, 3 percent Vance) and has a 20-point lead among moderates (51 percent for Chandler, 31 percent for Barr, 6 percent for Vance).

The poll surveyed 400 likely voters in the 6th District between Sept. 10 and 13and has a margin of error of 4.9 points.

David Host, a campaign spokesperson for Barr’s campaign said the numbers are actually a good sign for the Republican challenger.

“Chandler’s poll in mid-September 2010 had him leading by 20 points in race that was decided by a 647-vote margin. If their poll has a similar degree of accuracy this year, they just predicted Andy Barr as the winner,” Host said, referring to an internal poll Roll Call wrote about in 2010. .

Pollster Mark Mellman, however, said the details of the poll show that Barr hasn’t picked up enough support with crucial swing voters.

“Barr has increased his support only among Republicans, and he has gained no ground whatsoever among the independent swing voters who will decide this race and among whom Ben Chandler enjoys a double-digit lead,” Mellman wrote in his polling memo.

Barr’s campaign released an internal polling memo in July showing Chandler up by five points, but still below the crucial 50 percent mark.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm joined cn|2 in December 2011 as a reporter for Pure Politics. Throughout his career, Nick has covered several big political stories up close, including interviewing President Barack Obama on the campaign trail back in 2008. Nick says he loves being at the forefront of Kentucky politics and working with the brightest journalists in the commonwealth. Follow Nick on Twitter @Nick_Storm. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or



  • Randolph Vance wrote on September 19, 2012 04:56 PM :

    If I’m pulling 3% of Independents and 6% of moderates, that’s all from Andy’s side!

    You give me more time, I WILL chip away at the mountain and I will get more than 6% of the voters!

  • Bruce Layne wrote on September 20, 2012 02:11 PM :

    Andy Barr seems like a nice enough guy, but he’s not sealing the deal with the liberty and TEA Party candidates he needs to win. That’s because his Big Republican Government views are only superficially different from Chandler’s Big Democratic Government views in all the ways that really count to most voters. Only the party loyalists are strongly in favor of either candidate.

    Contrast Andy Barr’s inability to gain traction in this race despite a lot of effort and money, with Thomas Massie in Kentucky’s 4th congressional district. Massie earned more votes in the primary than both of the GOP establishment candidates combined. Polling for the general election shows his Democratic challenger so far back in the rear view mirror that you’d need the Hubble Space Telescope to see him. Thomas Massie is THE quintessential liberTEA candidate.

    We need to find a good candidate for Kentucky’s 6th congressional district to represent the people of central Kentucky, instead of representing the parties.

  • Cumberland Gap wrote on September 21, 2012 06:13 PM :

    But Massie started out as an establishment politician wanting the county to go into the red debt to build a jail. He wanted more government services. However, he wisely saw he could start singing a new tune to attract a crowd who wouldn’t do their homework or connect the dots. Massie is wealthy and smart and knows how to play the game. It seems deceitful, but it works.

  • Commercial Viewer wrote on October 23, 2012 11:17 PM :

    Barr’s ads are either issues or defensive against the negative attack ads by Chandler, who says in a recent one that he represents ‘Conservative” values. What?! Being a member of NRA does not a conservative make, especially when you vote liberal. Where does this writer get the idea Barr is the only one with negative ads?

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