Labor Day weekend marks the beginning of the heart of campaign season, and with 9 1/2 weeks to go until Election Day, the latest WHAS-TV/Courier-Journal poll here in Kentucky finds Mitch the Turtle up 4 points on Alison Grimes, 46-42%.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Nine weeks until election day, Kentucky's U.S. Senate race remains close, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has improved his lead over Alison Lundergan Grimes in the latest WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll, from a two point lead one month ago to a four point lead today.
WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll
- 46% McConnell (R)
- 42% Lundergan Grimes (D)
- 5% Patterson (L)
- 8% Undecided
- 569 likely voters
- Margin of error = ± 4.2%
Libertarian David Patterson is down two points since the last poll, now with five percent support.
"It's still close to the margin of error," Democratic strategist Bob Gunnell said. "(Grimes) still has very much a shot to win, and money will still continue to flow into her campaign."
"I think the McConnell people are going to be very excited about these numbers," said Republican strategist Les Fugate. "It continues the trend that we've seen in a lot of other polls, both polls for the campaigns and other independent polls. His momentum has slowly picked up since January and moved, once he consolidated the vote after the primary, and he continues to build off of that."
Neither Gunnell or Fugate are affiliated with the campaigns.
The crosstabs are pretty interesting as well. Kentucky remains Clinton Country, as Big Dog was in town stumping for Grimes earlier this month. His approval rating is better than anyone else in the poll at 53%. That same four point lead favors Republicans when it comes to which party voters think should control the Senate (47-43%).
As far as issues go, Grimes has a commanding lead on women's issues, 21 points (52-31%) but McConnell has a similar lead on which candidate would better represent the interests of King Coal (44-22%). McConnell also has a big lead on foreign policy (43-28%) and a smaller lead on immigration (40-32%), but voters are split on which candidate is better for the state's economy overall, McConnell at 40% to Grimes's 38%.
Meanwhile, voters here continue to hate Barack Obama. His approval rating in the Bluegrass State is down to 29%, with his approval rating among Democrats down to 49%. Obamacare, Kynect, or not, Kentuckians are pretty upset at the President.
This poll was taken before Friday's revelations that Mitch McConnell's campaign director was involved in taking bribes during Ron Paul's 2012 run, so we'll see how that plays out.