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

09/19/2012 12:07 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. He is now the Anchor and Managing Editor of 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 @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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