McGrath's campaign says they're leading in polling; Gray campaign "don't buy it"

04/24/2018 05:40 PM

The campaign for 6th Dist. Democratic candidate Amy McGrath says they’ve jumped Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in polling by 7 points, but the Gray campaign isn’t buying the results.

Citing a polling memo from Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, Mark Nickolas says they’ve overtaken the popular frontrunner with their positive campaign advertisements.

McGrath leads Gray in the polling memo, with 42 percent to Gray’s 35 percent, state Sen. Reggie Thomas comes in with 6 percent, other candidates gather 3 percent of the vote, and 14 percent are undecided in the poll.
Garin- Hart-Yang conducted the survey of 404 likely Democratic primary voters in Kentucky’s 6th Dist. on April 17 and 19.

The survey, includes landlines and cellphones, and has a margin of error of
+/- 5 percent. The memo makes up a huge swing for McGrath compared to other internal polls.

Comparing the race to that of Republican outsider Rand Paul’s turnaround against establishment candidate Trey Grayson, McGrath’s campaign manager lauded the results.

“The poll confirms the incredible groundswell of support for Amy since she launched her candidacy in August,” Nickolas said in a statement. “Democratic voters are craving authentic new leaders in Congress who are not puppets of the political establishment and are fed-up with the political parties trying to hand-pick their candidates for them.”

Gray’s campaign cried foul on the results reported by McGrath’s campaign consultant weeks before the primary election.

“We don’t buy it,” Gray campaign manager Jamie Emmons said. “A candidate paying for a poll that says what they want it to say is about as surprising as Rick Pitino hiring a publicist to say he didn’t do anything wrong. It’s time to send Andy Barr packing, and Mayor Gray’s the one to do it.”

“”:In early April Gray’s campaign released an internal polling memo showing him leading Democratic opponents Amy McGrath and Reggie Thomas by 33 percent in a three-way race. The poll, conducted on March 3-6, showed Gray with 52 percent support among likely primary voters, compared to 19 percent for challenger Amy McGrath and 6 percent for state Sen. Reggie Thomas. Twenty-three percent of voters are undecided.

The poll was conducted by Democratic pollster Mark Mellman before either Gray or McGrath campaigns took to the airwaves, and sampled 400 likely voters in the 6th Congressional Dist. Interviews were conducted on cell phone and landlines, and carried a +/- 4.9 percent margin of error.

Meanwhile, Reggie Thomas’ campaign manager Leo Haggerty is content to let the Gray and McGrath campaigns have it out over who is in the lead.

“Jim Gray and Amy McGrath continue to play politics while Reggie continues to talk issues and take them direct to voters,” Haggerty told Pure Politics.

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