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Kentucky poll: Democrat Conway leads GOP contenders in governor’s race

January 16, 2015

by Neil W. McCabe

The Democratic attorney general leads Republican candidates for Kentucky governor in the Jan. 5-6 poll of 608 registered voters.

Attorney General John W. “Jack” Conway beats both leading Republicans Agriculture Commissioner James R. Comer, former envoy to Latvia Ambassador Catherine Todd Bailey, real estate developer Hal Heiner and businessman Matt Bevin, said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based pollster that conducted the poll. The poll carries a 4 percent margin of error.

Kentucky Attorney General John W. "Jack" Conway spoke at Jan. 13 Labor Unity Breakfast in Louisville, Kentucky. Conway, a Democrat, leads GOP candidates in the race for governor. (Courtesy of Conway campaign)

Kentucky Attorney General John W. “Jack” Conway spoke at Jan. 13 Labor Unity Breakfast in Louisville, Kentucky. Conway, a Democrat, leads GOP candidates in the race for governor. (Courtesy of Conway campaign)

The Kentucky Democratic and Republican primaries are held May 19 and the general election is Nov. 3.

Watch this video by James R. Comer:

“In the tightest scenario, pitted against Comer, Conway leads 40 percent to 37 percent,” Kaplan said.

“Conway leads Bailey 43 percent to 30 percent; he leads Heiner 43 percent to 34 percent and Bevin 44 percent to 36 percent,” he said.

If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were Republican Cathy Bailey and Democrat Jack Conway, who would you vote for?

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If Conway wins, it is a personal vindication for a candidate, who has survived an ethics scandal and the 2010 loss in the his run for the Senate against Republican Sen. Randal H. “Rand” Paul.

Kentucky is a true hybrid state that at the same time is southern and midwestern, Kaplan said.

If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were Republican Hal Heiner and Democrat Jack Conway, who would you vote for?

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“The Democratic Party never went away as it did in states from the Deep South,” he said. “Ten to 11 percent of the Kentucky workforce is union, compare that with North Carolina or Georgia that are between 3 and 4 percent.”

President Barack Obama has an approval rating in our poll of 35 percent, but the state has a Democratic governor now and could easily elect another one, he said.

The GOP primary is a very interesting field, he said. “Bevin disappointed conservatives by losing 60 to 36 percent to Sen. Mitch McConnell.” McConnell is the Senate Majority Leader.

Bevin, who spent $5 million against McConnell, is seen as having blown his chance to beat McConnell, but it is another thing for conservatives to switch to Bailey,” he said. “Bailey is close to Rand Paul, but she is really a part of the state’s GOP establishment.

In the general election, McConnell beat Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes 56 percent to 41 percent.

In her own race to keep her job, Grimes is in a virtual tie, 47 percent to 46 percent, with Stephen Knipper, an information technology professional and executive for Catholic Health Initiatives, Kaplan said.

See other charts here: 

Do approve or disapprove of President Obama’s job performance?

Approval of Obama

If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway, who would you vote for?

Governor4If the election for Secretary of State were held today and the candidates were Republican Steve Knipper and Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes, who would you vote for?

Secretary of StateIf the election for Attorney General were held today and the candidates were Republican Luke Morgan and Democrat Andy Beshear, who would you vote for?

Attorney GeneralIf the election for Treasurer were held today and the candidates were Republican Allison Ball and Democrat Rick Nelson, who would you vote for?

TreasurerIf the election for State Auditor were held today and the candidates were Republican John Kemper and Democrat Adam Edelen, who would you vote for?

AuditorIf the election for State Agriculture Commissioner were held today and the candidates were Republican Ryan Quarles and Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson, who would you vote for?

State Agriculture CommissionerThe following questions are for demographic purposes.

What is your political party affiliation?

Party Are you Hispanic?

HispanicWhat race do you identify yourself as?

RaceWhich of the following best represents your religious affiliation?

Religious affiliationWhat is the highest level of education you have completed?

Education CategoryHow old are you?

Age groupWhat is your gender?

GenderNote: the polls were conducted using IVR technology and weighted by historical voting demographics.

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Neil W. McCabe is a political director for Gravis Marketing and a McCabe is the political director of Gravis Marketing. Washington-based journalist McCabe is the Washington editor of Armed American Radio and a Townhall.com columnist. McCabe was a staff writer and photographer for The Pilot, Boston's Catholic paper, as well as the editor of The Alewife and The Somerville News, two free community papers in the Boston-area. He was a senior reporter at Human Events and the editor of HE's Guns & Patriots newsletter. A veteran of the Army Reserve, he deployed to Iraq as a combat historian.

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