Bluegrass Poll: Economy and jobs worry Kentuckians most

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – While the latest WKYT Herald-Leader Bluegrass Poll found Kentuckians divided over the U.S. Senate race and gay marriage, it found there is one thing most Kentuckians agree on.

Nothing else even comes close to the importance Kentuckians place on the economy and jobs.

The poll - conducted for WKYT-TV, the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and WHAS-TV - found 56 percent of the 800 adults polled said the economy and jobs priority number one.

The Great Recession took its tool on Kentucky with layoffs, cutbacks, furloughs, budget shortfalls and company shutdowns making headlines.

The good news is the state's economic engine is revving back up. In the past year, unemployment fell in 117 of the state's 120 counties.

But keeping the economy on the right track remains the most important thing for Kentuckians.

Most important issues facing the country:
Economy and jobs, 56 percent
Immigration, 10 percent
Healthcare, 9 percent
Taxes and spending, 9 percent
Foreign policy, 4 percent
Social Issues, 3 percent
Other, 3 percent
Not sure, 3 percent
Energy, 2 percent

The economy and jobs are also becoming a major theme of the campaigns between Sen. Mitch McConnell and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

While the two sides haven't agreed yet to a debate , two-thirds of those surveyed by the Bluegrass Poll said McConnell and Grimes owe it to Kentuckians to debate each other before November's election.

The Bluegrass Poll found the pendulum in the race for Kentucky's senate seat is swinging ever-so-slightly toward McConnell over his Democratic challenger. Results released Monday show the longtime Kentucky senator's re-election bid leading by two percentage points in both a head-to-head race with Grimes and a three-way race with Libertarian David Patterson.

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