Race to replace Sen. Ed Worley in the 34th District is close, cn|2 poll finds

09/30/2010 07:12 PM

(With video report) Democrats’ plans to take control of the state Senate starts with their assumption that they can hold onto to one of the most conservative districts they represent — the seat for the 34th District that covers Madison, Rockcastle and Lincoln counties.

It is being vacated by Sen. Ed Worley — the Democrats’ floor leader. But registration numbers show that the districts’ voters are closely divided. It has 39,523 Democrats and 35,191 Republicans. That’s the most Republican voters in any Senate  district that the GOP doesn’t already hold.

And the latest cn|2 Poll results show the race is, indeed, close between  two candidates making their first run for state office.

The poll shows Republican candidate Jared Carpenter with 35.2% and  Democrat Lee Murphy with 32.2% of the vote.

Donald VanWinkle, who is running as an Evangelical Christian Party    candidate drew 6.5% of support, the poll showed. (VanWinkle ran in 2006 and finished third with 3.1% of the vote).

A total of 26.2% of respondents in the cn|2 Poll said they were either undecided or refused to answer.

The poll, taken Sept. 28 and 29, surveyed 452 likely voters in the district and was conducted by Braun Research, Inc. of Princeton, N.J. It has a margin of error of 4.6 points. Click here to view the details and the crosstabs of the 34th state Senate district poll.

In response to the poll results, Carpenter said in a statement he was “super excited” about how the campaign is going:

“We’re super excited about the direction our campaign is headed in. We feel very good about the number of volunteers and supporters coming in daily. We feel good about victory in November. I look forward to being a voice for the 34th District in Frankfort.”

Murphy responded to the poll numbers saying he thought it was an accurate snapshot of of the electorate right now:

“This is where I expected the race to be at this point. We’re working hard to get our message out in this area. We’re both new candidates just trying to get our message out in the district. This is a race about philosophy, and I undoubtedly believe we have the better philosophy for this district.”

Here’s the Pure Politics look at the issues affecting the 34th state Senate District race:

The poll also found that the 34th District, which is almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, are favoring Republicans this election cycle:

  • Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul leads Democratic candidate Jack Conway by less than two percentage points, 43.2% to 41.5%
  • Voters polled in the district would rather see Republicans control the state Senate than Democrats, 43.4% to 40.8%
  • More than 50% approve of Worley’s performance in the Senate and 24.7% disapprove.
  • Gov. Steve Beshear has a 52.5% approval rating, compared with 37.2% unfavorable.

- Kenny Colston

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