At the starting line, Jack Conway has nearly 20-point lead over Todd P'Pool

03/03/2011 06:45 PM

The first poll of Kentucky’s 2011 attorney general’s race shows that Jack Conway — after running two statewide races — begins with a nearly 20-point advantage over Republican challenger Todd P’Pool.

P’Pool, the 37-year-old Hopkins County Attorney, is making his first statewide run and, in fact, his first campaign outside of Hopkins County where he was the first Republican to win county-wide office since the Civil War.

Neither Conway nor P’Pool drew opposition in the May 17 primary elections making them the automatic nominees for the fall.

The cn|2 Poll of 804 likely voters showed Conway starts with support from 52.1% of respondents while P’Pool begins with 32.7%. Another 13.6% are undecided.

The survey was conducted Feb. 28 and March 1 by live interviewers from Braun Research of New Jersey. Interviewers contacted likely voters in the 2011 election — those who voted in both gubernatorial elections of 2003 and 2007, as well as younger voters under 24 who said they planned to vote this fall.

Click here to read the details and cross-tabulations of the poll results:

statewide ballot 3-2-11.pdf [625.62KB]

While the cn|2 Poll represents just an early snapshot of how the race looks before any advertising, P’Pool’s new campaign manager David Ray took a shot at the survey.

“This is the same faulty poll that predicted Jack Conway would beat Rand
Paul last August,” Ray said in a statement. He was referring to a cn|2 Poll released Aug. 19, 2010, that showed Conway ahead of Rand Paul by a half a point — 41.7% to 41.2% — which was conducted before advertising began in that race.

“Kentuckians aren’t this gullible,” Ray said. “That is why voters from Paducah to Pikeville are joining Todd P’Pool’s campaign and supporting his fight against Obamacare and the EPA.”

The race promises to be a competitive one with P’Pool and Conway, 41, both representing the younger generations of their respective party.

P’Pool has been making the Republican Lincoln Day Dinner circuit to introduce himself to Republicans across the state. He has landed high-profile support, including from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s former state director, Larry Cox. Cox is P’Pool’s campaign chairman.

Conway, meanwhile, has been slow to assemble his campaign team after coming off a 12-point loss to Paul in the November U.S. Senate race.

He said on Pure Politics in a Jan. 27 interview that he learned from his mistakes in the Senate race, including not listening “to my gut” on campaign issues.

He specifically referred to the commercial known as the Aqua Buddha ad that questioned Paul’s actions as a student at Baylor University. The ad attracted wide criticism and Conway acknowledged it may have “damaged my brand.”

While Conway did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday, Kentucky Democratic Party spokesman Matt Erwin said on Pure Politics Thursday that Conway is prepared to run on his “successful record as attorney general.”

- Ryan Alessi


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