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August 01, 2008

McConnell Leads Big

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has a huge campaign war chest, and he's not taking any risks in his bid for a fifth term. After all, McConnell got a first-hand look at what happened to former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle in 2004. A new poll shows McConnell is in good position to keep his seat for another six years.

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 businessman Bruce 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.