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September 03, 2008

Dem Poll Shows Bluegrass Opportunity

In advance of the 1994 general election, Republican Ron Lewis' win in a Kentucky special election gave the first hint of an impending GOP landslide. Fourteen years later, as Lewis steps down from Congress, a poll in Kentucky's Second District could be a good sign for Democrats, as State Senator David Boswell sports a lead over his Republican rival.

The survey, conducted for Boswell's campaign by Garin-Hart-Yang, surveyed 403 likely voters between 8/23-25 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Boswell and State Senator Brett Guthrie, the GOP nominee, were tested among a sample made up of 58% Democrats, 35% Republicans and 7% independents. The actual voter registration in the district is 58% Democrats and 36% Republicans, the polling memo notes.

General Election Matchup
Boswell.................41
Guthrie..................33

Generic Dem.........39
Generic GOPer.....35

Running as a conservative Democrat, Boswell has taken positions that look like those adopted by others in his party who have found success in the South this year. Reps. Travis Childers of Mississippi and Don Cazayoux of Louisiana both won special elections running as a pro-life and pro-gun Democrats.

Despite the overwhelmingly Democratic registration, President Bush carried the Second District with 65% of the vote in 2004. The large number of undecided voters means Guthrie has a good chance to close the gap with Boswell. But Boswell's early lead is still a bad sign for Republicans in a district Lewis never had trouble retaining.