Republican pollster finds gubernatorial race between Conway, Bevin even at 44 percent

10/30/2015 04:22 PM

A GOP pollster has released a survey showing Kentucky’s gubernatorial race tied at 44 percent support between Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin.

The poll, conducted by Vox Populi Polling from Oct. 26-27, shows the 618 registered voters evenly split between the two major-party candidates, with independent candidate Drew Curtis pulling 6.3 percent support and 6.6 percent of respondents undecided. The survey has a 3.9 percent margin of error.

The survey’s crosstabs can be viewed here: Vox Populi Polling crosstabs.pdf

The poll skews toward Republicans, who make up 39 percent of the state’s 3.2 million registered voters. Forty-one percent of respondents belonged to the GOP versus 46 percent of responsive Democrats, who hold more than 52 percent of the state’s registered voters. Those registered to other parties makeup 13 percent of respondents versus 8 percent of those registered with other parties in Kentucky.

Brent Seaborn, a Vox Populi pollster, called Kentucky’s gubernatorial election “a jump ball election that will hinge upon voter turnout.”

“The numbers for Bevin and Conway are incredibly tight, and their partisan share is equal,” Seaborn said in a statement. “And the wild card is a third party candidate polling at 6%, and another 7% are still undecided. The Kentucky gubernatorial election could come down to the wire as we watch the percentage of Republicans, Democrats, and independents who show up to the polls.”

The survey, first reported by Politico Pro, targeted voters who cast ballots in the 2012 and 2014 elections or those who registered after last year’s mid-year election cycle, according to a release. Bevin holds a slight edge on respondents who said they will definitely vote on Tuesday, with nearly 46 percent support to Conway’s 43 percent.

Bevin campaign manager Ben Hartman hailed the poll as “a resounding message to the Conway campaign – Matt Bevin is exactly what the people of Kentucky are looking for in their next Governor.”

“Despite the Conway/Obama team spending $12 million on false, negative attacks smearing Matt’s reputation, Kentucky continues to side with Matt Bevin because he brings strong conservative leadership and a plan for a better Kentucky to Frankfort on day one,” Hartman said in a statement.

“Most telling about these numbers is that among those that say they are definitely going to the polls on Tuesday, Bevin leads Conway 46 to 43 percent,” he continued. “These results show that the momentum is on our side where it counts, and that support for Jack Conway has stalled. Conway’s stances, or lack thereof, on the issues fall flat, and this will be reflected in the polls on election day.”

David Bergstein, spokesman for the Kentucky Democratic Party, said the survey is “incredibly fraudulent for a number of reasons, just like the ‘East Coast Con Man’ Matt Bevin.”

“This polling company is run by Republicans, they have a history of blowing calls on races, their results are out of line with every other poll that has been released, and their assumptions about the electorate are wildly flawed,” Bergstein said in a statement.

“But after Bevin has consistently demonstrated he lacks both the honesty and temperament to lead, it’s no surprise his campaign is desperately hyping these inaccurate numbers to distract from Bevin’s lies about his failure to pay his taxes and his unethical conduct in the closing days of the race.”

The survey also explored a potential matchup between U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic Auditor Adam Edelen, who is running for re-election in Tuesday’s election. Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, earned 47 percent support in the survey versus nearly 38 percent for Edelen.

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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