Internal McConnell poll shows incumbent up 8 percent

10/22/2014 05:14 PM

UPDATED WITH GRIMES CAMPAIGN RESPONSE: Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell released an internal poll Wednesday showing an 8 percent lead on Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The poll, conducted by Voter Consumer Research Chairman Jan van Lohuizen, has McConnell ahead of Grimes among 815 likely voters 49 percent to 41 percent, with Libertarian candidate David Patterson drawing 3 percent. The survey has a margin of error of 3.5 percent with 7 percent of respondents undecided, according to a polling memo released by McConnell’s campaign.

McConnell’s internal poll shows a broader lead for the five-term Republican incumbent than public surveys in his race against Grimes. McConnell has averaged a 4.4 percent lead in public polls, according to an aggregate analysis by Real Clear Politics.

McConnell’s campaign released the poll the same day the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced it will resume buying airtime in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, reserving $650,000 in television advertising with the election 13 days away.

Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst said the McConnell’s campaign decision to release “a two-paragraph memo from a pollster with a terrible track record only shows how terrified they’ve truly become.” The Grimes campaign included a June report by Daily Kos highlighting misreads by Voter Consumer Research, including the 2012 presidential race and 2010 GOP primaries in Kentucky and Delaware.

“We knew the McConnell camp was scared, but the timing of this release — with public polls showing the wind at our back and undecideds breaking our way, huge grassroots momentum across the entire Commonwealth, and an enormous amount of energy following statewide events with both Clintons — couldn’t be more transparent,” Hurst said in a statement. “Mitch McConnell can sense his 30 years in Washington are dangerously close to an end.”

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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