Thursday, October 30, 2014

Final Bluegrass Poll shows McConnell ahead by 5 points, 'devastating news' for Grimes, UK prof says

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell "has opened up a five-point lead over Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes and appears well positioned to win a sixth term, according to the final Bluegrass Poll before Tuesday's election," Sam Youngman reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader, a sponsor of the Oct. 25-29 survey.

"The poll found that 48 percent of likely voters plan to vote for McConnell while just 43 percent plan to back Grimes. Three percent said they are voting for Libertarian David Patterson and 6 percent said they haven't made up their minds," reports Joe Gerth of The Courier-Journal, the other major sponsor. "While the results are within the poll's margin of error of 4.1 percentage points, McConnell's lead shows that he has the momentum in the race's waning times. Grimes, meanwhile has gone from being 2 percentage points ahead in the poll to 5 behind."
Herald-Leader graphic
"The Bluegrass Poll has been the one independent source indicating that Grimes might be on target to win this Senate race, so having the numbers turn against her is devastating news," University of Kentucky political science professor Stephen Voss told Youngman. "President Obama is clearly the albatross hanging around Grimes' neck. He is incredibly unpopular in Kentucky, and if anything, in the last several weeks attitudes toward him have only worsened."

"After four Bluegrass polls showed McConnell falling below 80 percent among likely Republican voters, the senator appears to be solidifying his base," Youngman writes. Eighty-six percent now say they will vote for McConnell," up from 78 percent in mid-October.

"The biggest problem for Grimes appears to be the negative ads that outside groups have used against her," Gerth writes. "The poll found that only 37 percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of her, while 43 percent have an unfavorable opinion of her. That almost mirrors McConnell's 37-44 favorability gap." For the full poll results, click here.

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