Republican Bevin within Striking Distance, But Democrat Conway in the Lead, 3 Months Till KY Elects a New Governor
A tight fight shapes up in Kentucky’s open Governor’s seat, where, in an election today, 100 days until votes are counted, Democrat Jack Conway edges Republican Matt Bevin 45% to 42%. This latest Bluegrass Poll, commissioned by the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Lexington Herald-Leader, WHAS-TV, and WKYT-TV, highlights 6 statewide contests on the 11/03/15 ballot, each decided at this hour by 7 or fewer points.
In a 2-person Governor’s race, Bevin suffers because 15% of those who tell SurveyUSA they are “very conservative” cross-over and vote for the Democrat Conway. Bevin needs every one of these “very conservative” votes to win. Moderates break 2:1 Democrat. And Kentucky’s few liberals, as expected, vote overwhelmingly Blue. 13% of likely voters today are undecided. When all registered voters are asked which of the 2 candidates is better qualified to deal with the state worker pension system, voters split: 37% name Conway, 36% name Bevin. When registered voters are asked who is better qualified to manage KY’s state budget, voters split: 38% say Conway, 38% say Bevin.
In a 2-person Governor’s race:
* Bevin leads by 19 points in Southwest KY, which maps closely to KY Congressional District #1.
* Bevin Leads by 13 points in West Central KY, which maps closely to KY Congressional District #2.
* Bevin leads by a nominal 2 points in Northern KY, which maps closely to KY Congressional District #4.
* Conway leads by 30 points in Jefferson County, which maps closely to KY Congressional District #3.
* Conway leads by a nominal 3 points in Eastern KY, which maps closely to KY Congressional District #5.
* And, Conway leads by 11 points in Central KY, which maps closely to KY Congressional District #6.
If Independent Drew Curtis is on the 11/03/15 Gubernatorial ballot, Curtis today captures 8% of the likely vote, and takes slightly more votes from the Republican than from the Democrat. A 3-way contest today ends with Conway leading by 5 points: Conway 43%, Bevin 38%, Curtis 8%, with 11% undecided. Of Bevin supporters in a 2-person race, 7% vote for Curtis in a 3-person race. Of Conway supporters in a 2-person race, 5% vote for Curtis in a 3-person race.
In an election for KY Attorney General today, Democrat Andy Beshear, son of sitting Governor Steve Beshear, leads Republican Whitney Westerfield 40% to 33%. 24% of likely voters are undecided at this hour. An additional 3% of likely voters are not following the contest.
In an election for KY Secretary of State, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes leads Republican Steve Knipper 46% to 40%, with 12% of likely voters undecided and another 2% of likely voters not following the contest.
In an election for KY State Auditor, Democrat Adam Edelen leads Republican Mike Harmon 35% to 31%, with 30% of likely voters undecided, and another 4% of likely voters not following the contest.
In the contest for State Treasurer, Democrat Rick Nelson leads Republican Allison Ball 36% to 33%, with 29% of likely voters undecided and another 2% of likely voters not following the contest.
In the contest for State Agriculture Commissioner, Republican Ryan Quarles and Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann run effectively even, with Quarles at 33%, Lawson Spann at 32%, 30% undecided and another 5% not following the contest. Quarles’ nominal 1-point advantage is not statistically significant; the contest should be characterized as even, at this hour.
53% of registered voters disagree with the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision which made same-sex marriage the law of the land. 38% agree with the Supreme Court.
Gubernatorial candidate Bevin disagrees with the Supreme Court decision; Gubernatorial candidate Conway agrees with the decision. 24% of registered voters say this makes them “much” more likely to vote for Conway. An offsetting 26% say this makes them “much” more likely to vote for Bevin. Another 25% of voters say the candidates’ positions on same-sex marriage do not affect their vote one way or the other.
KY voters split on whether County Clerks should be allowed to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples who wish to marry. 36% say clerks should be allowed to refuse to issue marriage licenses on religious grounds; 38% say those clerks should be removed from office.
73% statewide say the statue of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, which stands in the Capitol Rotunda, should remain in place. 17% say the statue should be removed.
Looking ahead 15 months to the election for President of the United States, Kentucky’s Ron Paul and presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton remain deadlocked in the fight for Kentucky’s 8 electoral college votes. Paul gets 44% today, Clinton gets 42%. Compared to an identical, hypothetical question asked 2 months ago, Clinton is down 3 points, Paul is down 1 point, and undecided is up 3 points, from 11% to now 14%. In 2012, Mitt Romney carried Kentucky by 22 percentage points. In 2008, John McCain carried KY by 16 points.
Filtering: SurveyUSA interviewed 1,000 adults from the state of KY 07/22/15 through 07/28/15. Of the adults, 856 were registered to vote in KY. Of the registered voters, 685 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 11/03/15 election for Governor. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a landline telephone (72% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (28% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device. Respondents to this survey were asked both what their party registration is, and what their party affiliation is. Party registration is reported herein as a binary result: 53% of likely voters are registered Democrat. 35% of likely voters are Republican. (Among registered voters, the split is: 51% D, 34% R.) Separately, the same likely voters were asked to place themselves on a 7-point continuum, from “Strong Republican” to “Strong Democrat.” Those results are also reported herein. In addition, voters were asked to place themselves on a 5-point continuum from “Very Conservative” to “Very Liberal.” Those results are reported herein.