Paul leads by 18 in what's likely the last survey before Tuesday

05/16/2010 11:29 PM

Rand Paul enters the final day of campaigning with a 52-34 point lead over Trey Grayson in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, a new poll showed Sunday night.

Public Policy Polling,  a North Carolina firm that polls mostly for Democratic candidates, surveyed 1,065 likely Republican voters on Saturday and Sunday in advance of Tuesday’s primary.  The firm uses an automated system in which respondents press a button to respond. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.  Public Policy Polling’s blog has more details.

Even though U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has endorsed Grayson, the poll wasn’t all bad news for him. About 64 percent of respondents said they wanted the Republican nominee to support McConnell for U.S. Senate Republican leader again, according to the results.

McConnell’s job approval rating  also was 57 percent compared to 45 for U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, who endorsed Paul in the primary.

As for Grayson, only 55 percent of Republicans said they would definitely vote for him in the fall, compared to 67 percent for Paul.

Two other interesting results:

  • 29 percent of Republican respondents identified themselves as part of the Tea Party movement. On Sunday, McConnell said on Meet the Press that the movement would be an important part of the GOP’s effort to win the seat in November.
  • And the top choice of Kentucky Republicans to be the 2012 GOP presidential nominee wasn’t Sarah Palin or Paul’s father Ron Paul, but former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. (Huckabee 25 percent, Newt Gingrich 23 percent, Palin 20 percent, Mitt Romney 16 percent, and Ron Paul and undecided tied with 8.)

Oddly, the firm didn’t survey Democratic voters about that party’s primary, in which Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo and Attorney General Jack Conway are locked in a tight battle as other recent polls have shown.

- Ryan Alessi


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