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Poll finds poor marks for both of Kentucky's senators

Results of a new Kentucky Poll find more Kentuckians think Senators Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning aren’t making the grade in Washington.

Bunning is retiring amid some sharp criticism while McConnell is the top ranking Republican on Capitol Hill. But the poll of 600 likely voters by WKYT, WYMT, WAVE and The Herald-Leader found some similarities in how Kentuckians view them.

The majority, 53 percent, either disapproves or strongly disapproves of Bunning’s performance. Thirty-eight percent either approve or strongly approve of the athlete-turned-senator who is bowing out after 12 years on Capitol Hill.

Bunning, who was considered politically vulnerable to potential Democratic challengers, blamed fellow Sen. McConnell and other Republican leaders with drying up his fundraising and forcing him out of a re-election bid.

On May 18, voters will decide which candidates will move on to the general election to replace Bunning. The Kentucky Poll found Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo leads his Democratic rivals, and Rand Paul, a Bowling Green ophthalmologist, is ahead of his fellow Republican challengers.

Forty-nine percent disapprove or strongly disapprove of McConnell's performance versus 41 percent who think the Senate minority leader is doing a good job.

Women were bigger critics of both senators than men.

Both McConnell and Bunning received thumbs up for their performances from two-thirds of Republicans while Democrats polled were tougher on both men.

The Research 2000 Kentucky Poll was conducted from May 2 through May 4, 2010. A total of 600 likely voters who vote regularly in state elections were interviewed statewide by telephone.

Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect the voter registration of distribution by county.
The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus four percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the “true” figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled. The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as for gender or party affiliation.


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