Sunday, September 7, 2014

Latest poll: McConnell 47, Grimes 39, Patterson 8; turnout model more likely than in other recent polls

Sen. Mitch McConnell has opened up his first clear lead over Alison Lundergan Grimes, according to a poll conducted for NBC News. McConnell had 47 percent among likely voters while Grimes had 39 percent and Libertarian David Patterson 8 percent. Eight percent were undecided. The last Kentucky poll for NBC, in May, had McConnell leading 46-45.

The latest poll's margin of error was plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, which applies to each number, so McConnell has a clear lead for the first time. As for Grimes, it's "not looking very good for her," new "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd said as he revealed the numbers. Some results are at

NBC headline shows McConnell giving his usual arrival thumbs-up
The survey continued a trend set by recent polls, but had a new piece of bad news for Grimes: The survey's sample of self-described likely voters was much closer to the likely turnout in the race. Among registered voters in the poll, 58 percent said they were likely to vote. Other recent polls in the race have had much higher percentages.

Typically, Democratic turnout falls off in such midterm elections, but the poll found a clear preference for Republicans even among registered voters when the highly unpopular president was included: 44 percent said they would like to see "a Republican majority in both the House and Senate as a check on President Obama in his final two years," while 35 percent preferred "more Democrats in the House and a Democratic majority in the Senate to send a message to Republicans that they need to work with President Obama not against him." Fourteen percent said it doesn’t matter as long as a lot of incumbents from both parties are thrown out of office. The error margin for the sample of registered voters is 2.8 percentage points.

Some other results:
McConnell impression (fav-unfav) 45-48 (RVs 43-48, residents 40-48)
Grimes impression (fav-unfav) 41-43 (RVs 39-41, residents 36-39)

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