Poll: Fletcher, Beshear Appear to Lead in Governor's Race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Ernie Fletcher is leading among Republicans in the governor's race while former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear is apparently ahead in the Democratic race, according to a newspaper's poll.

The Bluegrass Poll, published by The Courier-Journal on its Web site Thursday, also showed large numbers of undecided voters in both parties.

The poll showed Fletcher was the choice of 41 percent of likely Republican voters, while former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup was the choice of 26 percent.

Paducah businessman Billy Harper, the third GOP candidate, trailed with 10 percent.

The poll results also showed that 18 percent of likely Republican voters still hadn't made up their minds.

On the Democratic side, Beshear was slightly ahead of other candidates with 27 percent of the vote. Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford was second with 21 percent.

Former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry was third with 12 percent of the vote, and House Speaker Jody Richards was next with 7 percent. Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith polled 4 percent and Otis Hensley less than 1 percent. The poll found 23 percent of Democratic voters undecided.

To win a nomination in the May 22 primary, a candidate must receive at least 40 percent of the vote in his party's primary. If that doesn't happen, a runoff election would be held five weeks later, on June 26.

The poll surveyed 404 likely Democratic voters and 353 likely Republican voters. Likely voters were defined as registered voters who said they definitely or probably would vote in the primary.

Of the registered voters the poll surveyed, 89 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of Republicans were considered likely voters. However, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a Republican who is unopposed in the primary, is predicting an overall voter turnout on Tuesday of around 15 percent.

The Democratic sample was taken from May 10 to 14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. The Republican sample was taken from May 10 to 15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points.

Information from: The Courier-Journal,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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