FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky's 2014 U.S. Senate race looks like a dead heat, according to a poll published Thursday.
The poll from Public Policy Polling shows Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes leading Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell by two points, 45-43, in a hypothetical matchup.
"This clearly underscores the momentum that's behind Alison's campaign and the widespread disappointment in McConnell's failed leadership," Grimes campaign press secretary Charly Norton said.
But McConnell campaign officials said the poll is flawed.
"PPP frequently sets their samples and demographics to produce an outcome desirable for Democrats throughout the course of the campaign," McConnell campaign press secretary Allison Moore said. "The Democrat playbook even says, 'When you get into trouble, quickly release a PPP poll.'"
The Poll was sponsored by Americans United For Change, a left-leaning advocacy group.
"We've seen this all before," Moore said. "Alison grimes and her liberal beltway allies can use partisan pollsters to cook up poll after poll to prop up her fledgling campaign, but nobody is buying it."
Pollsters sampled 16 percent more Democrats than Republicans - a figure virtually identical to Kentucky's actual voter registration.
The poll's plus-8 sample of women over men is 2.3 points away from being dead on, according to statistics from the State Board of Elections.
"No Democratic opponent of Mitch McConnell has ever held their own against him," Norton said. "And not one, two, but three and now four polls (in a row) show Alison leading against Mitch McConnell."
More than one year still remains before the 2014 general election.
The two-point lead for Grimes is within the poll's margin of error of 2.8%.
The polling was done before McConnell Wednesday night announced his compromise with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to end the government shutdown.
McConnell is also facing a primary challenge from Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin, a Louisville businessman.