Hal Heiner leads GOP contenders for governor in Bluegrass Poll

03/10/2015 10:38 PM

With just more than two months before the May 19 primary, Hal Heiner is leading the four-Republican pack in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race by 8 percentage points, according to a Bluegrass Poll released Tuesday.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA for The Courier-Journal, WHAS-TV in Louisville, The Lexington Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV in Lexington, also found that presumptive Democratic nominee Attorney General Jack Conway continues to outpoll his GOP counterparts in a hypothetical general election contest.

In the GOP primary, Heiner leads with 28 percent of support among respondents, with a 4.4 percent margin of error, according to SurveyUSA. The pollster said it spoke to 520 Republicans certain to vote in the May primary.

Heiner, in a statement, said the poll results reinforce what he’s heard on the campaign trail.

“People don’t trust Frankfort and they’re looking elsewhere for leadership,” he said. “I’ve been overwhelmed by voters’ support for a conservative, outsider businessman with a plan to create jobs, turn back Barack Obama’s liberal mandates, and hold state government accountable. We’ve come a long way, but there’s a lot of work left to do.”

Former U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin and current Agriculture Commissioner James Comer both received 20 percent of the vote in the poll, and former state Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott of Pikeville trailed the pack at 8 percent.

The Courier-Journal reports that a quarter of all respondents are still undecided in the race.

With SurveyUSA missing the mark in the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky showing Democratic contender Alison Lundergan Grimes down 5 points to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell despite a more than 15-point blowout, the poll is already under criticism from the Comer camp this season.

Edwin King, Comer’s campaign manager, told the Courier Journal the poll sells papers but doesn’t have a track record of producing accurate results.

SurveyUSA says they have changed their methodology to account for polling errors this year.

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@charter.com.

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