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« Strategy Memo: Race Clouds All | Blog Home Page | ID: Risch +10 »

KY: McConnell +11

A new poll out of the Bluegrass State shows senior Senator Mitch McConnell leading his Democratic rival by a healthy margin, though if rival businessman Bruce Lunsford invests his own money in the race, it could close.

The survey, conducted by Research 2000 for DailyKos, polled 600 likely voters between 7/28-30 for a margin of error of +/- 4%. McConnell and Lunsford, who won an expensive Democratic primary, were surveyed among a sample that contained 46% Democratic voters, 38% Republican voters and 16% independents.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
McConnell....49 / 18 / 86 / 51 / 53 / 45
Lunsford......38 / 65 / 6 / 37 / 35 / 41

McCain.........56 / 28 / 87 / 64 / 59 / 53
Obama..........35 / 64 / 4 / 26 / 34 / 36

The trouble, as with all federal Democrats running in Kentucky, is to convince voters in their own party that they are Kentucky Democrats instead of national Democrats. The party has a huge voter registration advantage -- 57% of Bluegrass voters are registered Democratic, while 37% of voters are registered Republicans -- but they're not terribly loyal to their party, as is evident when more than a quarter of self-identified Democrats say they will vote for John McCain.

Lunsford has run before, but he's been through some bitter primaries, which has left his favorable rating at an uncomfortable 44% favorable to 42% unfavorable. More people like McConnell, who has 49% favorable ratings, but about the same number, 41%, see him unfavorably.