2 Weeks Till Votes are Counted, Kentucky’s 5-Term McConnell Still Can’t Dispatch Democrat Challenger Grimes
The teeter-totter that is the 2014 fight for US Senator from Kentucky tips ever so slightly back in favor of Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell today, 10/21/14, two weeks until votes are counted, according to the latest Bluegrass Poll, conducted by SurveyUSA for the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Lexington Herald-Leader, WHAS-TV and WKYT-TV.
Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes led in Bluegrass polls conducted last Winter and Spring. McConnell rebounded and led in Bluegrass polls conducted over the Summer and early Fall. Then, 10 days ago, a Bluegrass poll that coincided with new national Democratic TV commercials showed Grimes nominally back on top. Today, ever-so-slightly, the opposite. The pendulum has not swung much, but what movement there is, poll-on-poll, favors the 5-term incumbent, who today has a 44% to 43% nominal advantage. Of concern to both candidates in a contest this close: 8% are undecided (including 24% of Independents), and another 10% of those who state a preference may yet change their mind (9% of McConnell backers may yet switch; 11% of Grimes backers may yet switch). Poll-on-poll, McConnell is flat, at 44%. Poll-on-poll, Grimes dropped 3 points, from 46% to 43%. All such movement is well within the survey’s theoretical margin of sampling error, and may or may not be statistically significant.
At this hour, in Kentucky:
* 30% have a favorable opinion of President Barack Obama. 54% unfavorable. Minus 24.
* 38% have a favorable opinion of McConnell, his highest number in the past 5 months. 47% unfavorable. Minus 9.
* 40% have a favorable opinion of Grimes. 43% unfavorable. Minus 3, the 1st time in 5 months she has had a negative number.
* Libertarian David Patterson gets 5% of the vote, taking votes from both ends of the political spectrum.
* 47% say Republicans would do a better job if they controlled the US Senate in the next Congress. 42% say Democrats would do better, unchanged from the most recent Bluegrass Poll. Of self-identified Democrats, 19% (almost 1 in 5) say Republicans would do a better job.
Cell-phone respondents and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 800 state of KY adults 10/15/14 through 10/19/14. Of the adults, 745, were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 655 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 11/04/14 general election. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (75% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (25% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.