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Election 2008: Kentucky Senate
McConnell Still Up by Seven in Kentucky

Incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell still holds a seven-point lead on Democratic opponent Bruce Lunsford in Kentucky, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of voters in the state.

McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, is ahead of Lunsford 51% to 44%. Five percent (5%) of Kentucky voters remain undecided. That puts McConnell in a more comfortable position than many of his Republican colleagues, but any incumbent polling just over 50% will be at least a little bit nervous on Election Day.

McConnell’s 51% matches his highest level of support in the race - at the end of September. Many other Republicans, from John McCain down, have been suffering in the polls since bad economic news began dominating the headlines last month.

Lunsford is supported by 61% of voters who rate the economy as the number one issue in the election.In a survey last week, McConnell was ahead 50% to 43%. Lunsford, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2003 and 2007, has been ahead only once – in May, right after he won his party’s primary.

Twenty-five percent (25%) of Kentucky Democrats support the incumbent GOP senator versus 13% of Republicans who are backing Lunsford. McConnell has a nine-point edge among unaffiliated voters. He leads among men by five points and among women by eight.

Nearly one-out-of-five African-American voters (18%) back McConnell, who is seeking a fifth six-year term, even with Barack Obama at the top of the Democratic ticket.

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The latest numbers from the presidential race in Kentucky will be released at 5 pm Eastern today.Fifty-five percent (55%) of Kentucky voters have a favorable opinion of McConnell while 42% view him unfavorably. Lunsford is viewed favorably by 45% and unfavorably by 49%. The numbers are comparable to those a week ago.

Rasmussen Markets data currently gives McConnell a % chance of winning re-election in November. These results are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants. It costs nothing to join, so add your voice to the collective wisdom.

Democrats have viewed McConnell’s seat as a potential pick-up in their drive for a 60-Democrat filibuster-proof Senate. While a Democratic win in the Kentucky Senate race seems increasingly unlikely, GOP Senate seats are at risk in Alaska, Georgia, New Hampshire, Oregon, New Mexico, North Carolina, Colorado, Mississippi, Minnesota and Virginia.

Thirty-nine percent (39%) percent of Kentucky voters say Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat, is doing a good or excellent job, but 17% say his performance is poor.

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Kentucky Likely Republican

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

McConnell (R)

51%

51%

64%

Lunsford (D)

44%

43%

36%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports October 29, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Kentucky Trends: McConnell vs. Lunsford

Date

McConnell

Lunsford

10/29/2008

51%

44%

10/21/2008

50%

43%

09/30/2008

51%

42%

07/29/2008

50%

38%

06/25/2008

48%

41%

05/22/2008

44%

49%


Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Kentucky

 

McConnell

Lunsford

Very Favorable

31%

16%

Somewhat Favorable

24%

29%

Somewhat Unfavorable

20%

24%

Very Unfavorable

22%

25%

Not Sure

4%

7%

About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.