Democrats release internal polling memo showing Conway leading 2015 gubernatorial field

01/29/2015 06:30 PM

On the heels of a polling memo showing the GOP gubernatorial primary being a toss-up and the endorsement from Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes of Democratic candidate Jack Conway, the Kentucky Democratic Party released an internal polling memo showing Conway leading the 2015 field.

The internal polling memo, which was conducted by Garin, Hart, Yang Research Group, shows Conway leading two GOP contenders in head-to-head match ups.

The memo shows Conway leading Republican Louisville businessman Hal Heiner 44 percent to 24 percent. The poll also calculated voters “leaning” towards a candidate. Counting “leaners” Conway leads Heiner 51 percent to 30 percent.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer also comes up short to Conway in the poll paid for by the Kentucky Democratic Party. Conway leads Comer 41 percent to 31 percent without “leaners,” and 48 percent to 36 percent counting the leaning voters.

Two GOP candidates, Matt Bevin and Will T. Scott, were not included in the polling. The pollster said the research was conducted before the two other candidates entered the gubernatorial race.

The poll was conducted statewide December 19 – 21, and included 603 likely voters. The poll has a margin of error is +/-4.1 percent.

Conway’s campaign manager touted the poll as placing Conway in a strong position with a united Democratic Party behind the presumptive nominee.

Republican candidate James Comer’s campaign manager, Edwin King said the poll was “not consistent,” with the numbers they’ve seen.

While Comer’s campaign attacked the numbers, Heiner’s spokesperson pointed to the actions of his candidate in a statement to Pure Politics.

“Hal Heiner is leading the discussion on job creation and school choice. And he will change the way Frankfort does business,” said Heiner’s campaign spokesman Doug Alexander. “He’s the true outsider in the race that will shake up Frankfort.”

The same poll also shows Conway with 74 percent name identification, and Kentuckians pleased with the job Gov. Steve Beshear has done.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is 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 his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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