Chatter: Conway hold 5-point lead on Bevin in Bluegrass Poll; RGA drops $1M in final week

10/28/2015 09:06 PM

The last public gubernatorial survey from Bluegrass Poll partners shows Democratic candidate Jack Conway maintaining a slim lead over Republican candidate Matt Bevin.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of the Lexington Herald-Leader, WKYT-TV, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and WHAS-TV, shows Conway leading Bevin 45 percent to 40 percent. Independent candidate Drew Curtis has dropped in polling with 6 percent of the vote, and 10 percent of the survey’s respondents were undecided.

The poll survey 798 likely voters between Oct. 23 to 26, and has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

The Conway campaign told the Courier-Journal that they have the momentum on their side entering the final six days of the campaign. Conway campaign spokesman Daniel Kemp told the Louisville newspaper that Bevin “continues to prove that he doesn’t have the temperament to lead as our next governor.”

Bevin campaign spokesman Ben Hartman said the poll shows that Conway has “failed to convince Kentuckians that he should be our next Governor.”

“Despite the Conway/Obama team spending over $12 million attacking Matt with lies and misrepresentations, Kentucky continues to side with Matt Bevin because he provides concrete solutions to the problems that everyday Kentuckians face,” Hartman said in an emailed statement.

Hartman also called into question the accuracy of the Bluegrass Poll after Survey USA showed U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leading his 2014 Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes by 5 percentage points in the days leading up to the election. The race ended in a nearly 16-point landslide for McConnell.

The survey also showed the results for down-ballot constitutional offices:

Attorney general: Democratic candidate Andy Beshear leads Republican state Sen. Whitney Westerfield 47 percent to 35 percent. Seventeen percent of respondents are undecided. The poll has the same 3.5 percent margin of error.

Auditor: Incumbent Auditor Adam Edelen leads Republican state Rep. Mike Harmon 42 percent to 34 percent, with 22 percent undecided.

Secretary of state: Incumbent Alison Lundergan Grimes hits the 50 percent mark against her Republican opponent Steve Knipper, who is pulling in 37 percent of the vote with another 12 percent undecided.

Treasurer: Republican candidate Alison Ball leads by a slim margin to her Democratic opponent Rick Nelson, 37 percent to 35 percent. Twenty-eight percent of respondents are undecided.

Agriculture commissioner: Republican candidate Ryan Quarles expands his lead on Democratic candidate Jean-Marie Lawson Spann with 40 percent to 33 percent. Twenty-four percent of voters are undecided.

RGA drops $2.5 million in final two weeks in support of Bevin

The Republican Governors Association has released a trio of new ads supporting Bevin’s candidacy for governor.

The RGA is focusing their advertisements against Conway with messages linking the state’s attorney general to President Barack Obama, the Affordable Care Act and cap-and-trade energy policy.

The RGA’s “New Direction” ad can be viewed here:

The 15-second “Fight” spot can be viewed here:

The 15-second “Four More Years” ad can be viewed here:

The television ads are part of a new ad buy on top of the $1.6 million expenditure announced last week, “bringing the RGA’s total spending for the final two weeks of the Kentucky gubernatorial election to $2.5 million,” according to a press release.

The $2.5 million expenditure includes television in eight television markets, digital and direct mail statewide.

“Instead of putting Kentucky first, career politician Jack Conway supported President Obama and his anti-coal, job-killing liberal policies,” said RGA Communications Director Jon Thompson in a statement. “Four more years of the failed Conway/Obama agenda would be devastating to the Commonwealth and hurt Kentucky families. Matt Bevin will provide a fresh start and fight for Kentucky, not Barack Obama.”

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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