cn|2 Poll shows how Republican tickets start out in matchup against Beshear-Abramson

03/03/2011 06:32 PM

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, start with large leads over two GOP tickets but polled below the 50% threshold against the front-running Republican slate, the cn|2 Poll shows.

Beshear and Abramson received support from 48.4% of the 804 likely voters when compared to the Republican ticket of David Williams — the Republican Senate president from Burkesville — and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer.

The Williams-Farmer ticket received 37.6% of support, while another 14.1% were either unsure or refused to answer.

Those two so far have raised the most money and begin with more name recognition in the three-way Republican primary for the gubernatorial nomination.

The poll also showed Beshear and Abramson with a nearly 25-point lead over the GOP slate of Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and state Rep. Mike Harmon of Boyle County. And the Democratic ticket polled 26 points ahead of the Republican slate of Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw and Navy veteran Bill Vermillion.

The cn|2 Poll was conducted Feb. 28 and March 1 by live interviewers from Braun Research of New Jersey. The survey includes responses from 804 voters most likely to cast ballots in the November general election. It has a margin of error of 3.5 points.

You can find details of the poll’s methodology, results and crosstabs here:


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

Beshear and Abramson polled 7 points ahead of Williams and Farmer last fall, according to cn|2 Poll results from September 2. . The Democratic slate polled at 44% while Williams and Farmer received 37.7% of support at the time. But the pool of respondents was different in that poll. That survey was taken of voters who said they were likely to vote in the 2010 elections.

In response to the most recent cn|2 Poll, Scott Jennings, campaign manager for Williams and Farmer said the number Kentuckians are “really worried about is the unemployment rate, which has nearly doubled since Beshear took office and is now over 10%.”

“We are confident that Kentuckians don’t want another four years of Beshear’s inaction, incompetence, and inexcusable indifference when it comes to creating jobs,” Jennings said.

He pointed to results from an internal campaign poll that showed Williams and Farmer within a point of Beshear and Abramson.

Beshear’s campaign manager Bill Hyers issued the campaign’s standard response to outside poll results:

“While the Governor is appreciative of the support of Kentuckians, he is not focused on this now – he is focused on the legislative session and working to create jobs around the state.”

The poll showed Beshear and Abramson received 53.1% of support compared to 28.4% for Moffett and Harmon, while a combined 18.6% were unsure or refused to answer.

“The Tea Party will have plenty of time to take on Beshear’s failures after Phil Moffett wins the primary,” said Moffett’s campaign manager David Adams.

Adams said the campaign is mostly focused on “educating voters about David Williams making himself a government pension millionaire while voting to increase our taxes and explode our state debt.”

Adams added that the numbers show that the “ruling class politicians” can’t shake Moffett and that “a lot will happen in the next ten weeks.”

Holsclaw and Vermillion were the last ticket to get in the race and filed just before the deadline in late January. In a head-to-head matchup, Beshear and Abramson received 52.7% compared to 26.7% for Holsclaw and Vermillion. Another 20.6% weren’t sure.

Holsclaw’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

- Ryan Alessi with additional reporting by Kenny Colston

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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