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Poll: Fletcher Still Trails Challenger By Double Digits

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher continues
to trail his Democratic challenger by double digits, according to
poll results released Thursday evening.
Fletcher trails Lexington attorney Steve Beshear by 15 points,
according to the Herald-Leader/Action News 36 Election Poll. A poll
conducted by the two news organizations in September showed
Fletcher trailing by 17 percent.
The telephone survey, conducted by Maryland-based Research 2000
between Oct. 22 and 24, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4
percent.
The results show that, Beshear, a former lieutenant governor and
attorney general, would receive 55 percent of the vote compared to
40 percent for Fletcher. Five percent of the 600 likely voters
surveyed said they are still undecided with less than two weeks
until the Nov. 6 election.
Del Ali, president of Olney, Md.-based Research 2000 which
conducted the poll, said with such a wide margin between the
candidates, campaign cash to fund a final ad blitz becomes
critical.
But the most recent campaign finance reports from early October
showed that Beshear had nearly $1.7 million left in his bank
account after paying in advance for several weeks' worth of TV ads,
while Fletcher's campaign had $1.2 million on hand.
"This is over unless (Beshear) foolishly spends the money like
no one else has and Fletcher spends the money strategically
perfect," Ali said.
But a spokesman for Fletcher said the governor will close the
gap.
"We believe that we'll see this race tighten as we move into
November," said Fletcher spokesman Jason Keller. "The only poll
that truly matters is the one take on Nov. 6, and the enthusiasm
we're seeing across the commonwealth is going to translate into a
victory on Election Day.
Beshear said his lead in the poll won't slow his campaign
efforts.
"We're going to work as hard as we can to make sure we turn the
vote out and we're victorious," Beshear said.
Fletcher has faced a consistent 15- to 20-point deficit in
various media polls throughout the race.
The governor has tried multiple strategies to cut into Beshear's
lead, from hammering against allowing casinos in Kentucky -
something Beshear favors - to running commercials criticizing
Beshear's role in the liquidation of Kentucky Central Life
Insurance Co.
But the latest poll shows that Fletcher's job rating has
remained virtually unchanged from September, with 38 percent saying
they approved and 59 percent expressing disapproval of the
governor's performance, while 3 percent said they weren't sure.
Fletcher picked up one point in his approval rating from 37
percent last month. The percent of respondents who disapprove of
his performance hasn't changed.
Fletcher emerged from a three-way GOP primary in the spring
already tarnished from political fallout stemming from an
investigation on allegations his administration was conducting an
illegal patronage scheme. Fletcher was indicted on misdemeanor
charges that were eventually dropped, but not before he pardoned
his entire administration and invoked his Fifth Amendment right
against self-incrimination.
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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,
http://www.kentucky.com

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


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