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September 10, 2008

Grass Is Always Bluer Outside Kentucky

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is in fine shape in his bid for re-election, a new survey for his campaign finds. Though Democrats have plenty of Senate opportunities elsewhere, the Kentucky Republican doesn't look like one of them.

The poll, conducted by Voter/Consumer Research for McConnell's campaign, surveyed 900 likely voters 9/7-9 for a margin of error of +/- 3.3%. McConnell and businessman Bruce Lunsford were tested.

General Election Matchup
McConnell..........52
Lunsford...........35

McConnell's favorable ratings remain noticably strong compared with those of his opponent. 52% have a favorable opinion of McConnell, while 33% see him unfavorably.

After several unsuccessful runs for statewide office in primaries that have at times turned bitter, Lunsford's favorable rating is a much lower 30%, while 36% see him unfavorably.

McConnell is optimistic about his chances this year, though he recognizes his race won't be as easy as his 2002 bid, when he won 65% of the vote. "I'm going to have a very aggressive campaign, not taking anything for granted," he promised in a recent interview. "One of the things I've discovered is that being minority leader makes me a much bigger target. A lot of people now would like to see me lose who didn't know my name a couple of years ago."

Despite the promising atmosphere for Democrats nationally, McConnell said his state is actually trending the other way. "Kentucky is generally considerably more Republican than it was when I started my career," he said. "It's not Mississippi or Alabama. It's not totally red. It's reddish."