Reynolds-Wilson state Senate race in Bowling Green a toss up, latest cn|2 Poll finds

10/18/2010 07:15 PM

The latest cn|2 Poll shows little daylight between state Sen. Mike Reynolds, a Bowling Green Democrat running for his first full term, and Republican challenger Mike Wilson in the 32nd State Senate District race covering Warren and Butler counties.

Reynolds received more than 44% of support from respondents compared to more than 43% for Wilson. Nearly 12% remain undecided.

Democrats are hoping to hang on to the seat as they try to tie up or take control of the Senate, where Republicans have 21 votes compared to 17 Democratic seats. Wilson, the Republican challenger, is the general manager of a Christian radio station in Bowling Green and is running for office for the first time.

A couple factors have been working against Reynolds, who was first elected in a February 2009 special election to fill out Brett Guthrie’s state senate term after Guthrie was elected to Congress.

The district is home to Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul, which could generate high Republican turnout on Nov. 2. And last week, the Republican Party of Kentucky launched a website that has audio clips of an interview Reynolds had with a journalism class at Western Kentucky University. During part of his speech to the class, Reynolds referred to voters in his district as “rednecks” when it came to their views on health care reform.

But Reynolds does have a 65% job approval rating, the poll shows.

The poll, by Braun Research of New Jersey, surveyed 452 likely voters in Butler and Warren counties, and was taken Oct. 13-14. It has a margin of error of 4.6 points. Click here to view the crosstabs and details of the 32nd district poll.

Here’s a review of the race, from Pure Politics:

Here are the candidates’ full statements about the poll results:

Reynolds’ campaign: After weeks of negative mail pieces and sleazy radio ads by our opponent, Sen. Reynolds still leads this race. Sen. Reynolds is running in Rand Paul’s hometown and is receiving crossover support. We have focused on the issues and will continue our message of job creation, fiscal responsibility, and Kentucky Values.

Wilson’s campaign: These numbers are reflective of an incumbent who does not respect his constituents, calling them rednecks if they dare disagree with him. In these final two weeks, we will continue to meet with the voters in the 32nd District and talk about our plan to bring jobs to the community, and fight wasteful government spending in Frankfort.

The poll shows that outside of Reynolds approval rating, the district feels Republicans would be the best to run both Washington D.C. and Frankfort. And Paul holds a seven point lead, 47% to 40%, over Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway.

And over 48% said they would like to see Republicans control Congress and about the same amount, 47.7%, would like Republican control of the state legislature.

-Video produced and reporting by Kenny Colston

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