McConnell leading Grimes in two new polls, but both within the margin of error

10/20/2014 06:44 PM

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is leading Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes among likely Kentucky voters in two new polls released Monday.

The latest Bluegrass Poll results show McConnell regaining a slim lead over Grimes 44 percent to 43 percent with Libertarian candidate David Patterson receiving 5 percent and eight percent of respondents saying they are still undecided. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percent.

The poll of 655 likely voters was conducted Oct. 15 to 19 by SurveyUSA again on behalf of the Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV in Lexington and The Courier-Journal and WHAS-TV in Louisville.

Results of a Bluegrass Poll earlier this month had Grimes leading McConnell by two percent.

The McConnell campaign said in a statement that the new Bluegrass Poll results are part of the excitement behind their efforts.

“Out of the last 18 public polls released since Labor Day, the Bluegrass poll is the only survey showing anything but a decisive lead for Senator McConnell. There is a lot of enthusiasm building for Senator McConnell as Kentucky gets closer to having our first Majority Leader of the Senate in over seventy years with Mitch McConnell,” Grimes campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a statement.

In a campaign memo released shortly after the Bluegrass Poll results, the Grimes campaign touted the poll as an indicator that the race is in a “dead heat.”

“Today’s Bluegrass poll confirms yet again that the 15-month campaign plan from which we have never wavered has Alison poised for a narrow but decisive victory on November 4th against a 30-year entrenched incumbent who – astonishingly – cannot consistently break mid-40’s numbers in public polls as we approach Election Day. Since the last Bluegrass poll, Mitch McConnell and his allies have outspent our side by nearly $3 million, lying about Alison and her record, and they have nothing but a statistical dead heat (and the further cementing of McConnell’s mid-40’s ceiling) to show for it,” Grimes Campaign Manager Jonathan Hurst said in a statement.

Another poll conducted by the Western Kentucky University Social Science Research Center collected results through live calls to 601 Kentucky voters between Oct. 6 to 20 shows McConnell ahead of Grimes among both registered and likely voters.

The survey, titled the Big Red Poll, shows McConnell leading Grimes by five percent among registered voters as 45 percent said they would be voting for McConnell and 40 percent went with Grimes. Just over five percent said they will vote for Libertarian candidate Patterson and ten percent indicated they are undecided.

The results of the poll, which has a margin of error of four percent, also has McConnell leading Grimes 45.4 percent to 41.7 percent among those who say they will definitely be voting on election day while five percent indicated they will vote for Patterson and 11 percent remain undecided.

Issues explored in the Big Red Poll include the Affordable Care Act, the economy and increasing the minimum wage.

According to the poll results released Monday, half of those surveyed believe the Affordable Care Act will make health care worse in the state while 32 percent said they think it will improve health care and 14 percent did not think the law would make a difference.

Kentuckians questioned by the live callers seem to overwhelmingly support an increase in the minimum wage, an issue Grimes has campaigned on which gives her the lead among those who support the increase. Of those polled, 59 percent said they are in favor of the increase while 36 percent oppose it.

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Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.


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