Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kentucky Senate: McConnell Poll Sets the Record Straight

By Nathan L. Gonzales

Sen. Mitch McConnell may not be quite as vulnerable as a recent, and questionable, public poll suggests. The Kentucky senator leads wealthy businessman Bruce Lunsford (D) 50%-39% in a new poll released by McConnell’s campaign. The numbers fly in the face of a Rasmussen Poll showing Lunsford ahead of the incumbent 49%-44%.

McConnell’s survey, conducted May 21-22 by Voter/Consumer Research, smells like the most logical starting point for the general election race, which just began. A May 7-9 Research 2000 poll for the Lexington Herald-Leader and WKYT showed McConnell ahead of Lunsford 48%-36%, a very similar margin to the senator’s poll.

The senator’s poll also showed McConnell had a 57% job approval rating, compared to 30% disapproval. And he stood at 54% favorable/32% unfavorable name identification. In comparison, Lunsford had a 34% favorable/20% unfavorable rating.

There is little question that the GOP Senate Minority Leader's numbers are depressed and that he should have a fight on his hands this fall. But there’s still flimsy evidence that McConnell is losing the race.