Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell is up for re-election this year, and there's a crowded field of Democrats fighting for the chance to challenge him. A new WKYT/Herald-Leader poll of likely Democratic voters shows the Democratic primary a two man race.
Although there are seven democrats running to challenge McConnell, only two have run strong media campaigns and the poll of 500 likely voters reflects that. When asked who they would vote for, 43 percent say former candidate for governor Bruce Lunsford while 23 percent say they would support businessman Greg Fischer.
All other candidates were in single digits.
When asked which Democratic candidate would bring needed change to Washington, the race is much closer. Lunsford leads with 46 percent compared to Fischer's 39 percent.
Kentucky Democrats have had their eye on Sen. McConnell's seat a long time. He's been in Washington 24 years which is longer than any Kentucky Republican senator in history.
With McConnell's climb to senate minority leader, it's his status and longevity that he's touting as big benefits for Kentucky. A recent ad compares McConnell to Alben Barkley who also led his party in the senate before he became vice president.
The director of Eastern Kentucky University's Center for Politics says McConnell's experience and huge campaign war chest are built in advantages for McConnell in the fall. "(He's) a very astute politician. His message, in terms of, it's Alben Barkley and me in terms of Kentucky historic leaders is something that has appeal across the political spectrum," EKU's Joe Gershtenson told WKYT.
WKYT and The Herald-Leader conducted the poll with the assistance of Research 2000 of Olney, Md. Between May and 9, a total of 500 likely Democratic primary voters were interviewed statewide telephone.
Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross section of exchanges was utilized to ensure and accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect the voter registration of distribution by county.
The margin of error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. This means there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled. The margin of error is higher for any subgroup, such as gender or party affiliation.