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Big Lead For Beshear

(Note: Originally published Saturday on the RCP Blog)

A new Research 2000 poll out today shows former Lieutenant Governor Steve Beshear leading incumbent Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher by a wide margin. Fletcher's administration has been marred by controversy, and despite going after Beshear for the Democrat's support for some forms of gambling, he finds himself far behind with just six weeks to go.

The Research 2000 poll, conducted for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Action News 36, was conducted between September 10-13 and surveyed 600 likely voters. MoE +/- 4%.

Head-To-Head (All, Dems, GOPers, Inds)
Beshear 56 / 84 / 23 / 59
Fletcher 39 / 10 / 75 / 33

Kentucky may seem like a conservative state, and it votes reliably Republican in presidential elections. Still, it remains a southern state, and of the 56 governors in its history, 29 have been Democrats, a plurality by far. Just eight Republicans have won election, and Fletcher is the first GOP chief executive since 1971.

Without the support of independent voters and Democrats who grew tired after the scandalous end of Gov. Paul Patton's administration, Fletcher remains unlikel