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Election 2014: Kentucky Senate

Kentucky Senate: McConnell (R) 46%, Grimes (D) 41%

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell still holds the lead in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race. 

A new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Kentucky Voters finds McConnell with 46% support to Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes’ 41%. Seven percent (7%) like some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)  

Kentucky remains Leans Republican in the Rasmussen Reports’ 2014 Senate Balance of Power rankings

McConnell was reelected in 2008 with 53% of the vote. McConnell who is seeking his sixth six-year term in the Senate led Grimes by seven points – 48% to 41% - in late May. The two were tied with 42% support each in late January in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the then-hypothetical race.  

Grimes who is now serving as Kentucky’s secretary of State has the support of 71% of Kentucky Democrats. McConnell has the backing of 74% of the state’s GOP voters and leads by five points among voters not affiliated with either major party. 

The challenger is saddled with an unpopular president in the Bluegrass State and voters who are even unhappier with Obamacare than voters are nationally. Mitt Romney carried Kentucky over President Obama by a 60% to 38% margin in the 2012 election, and just 39% of voters in the state now approve of the job the president is doing. Fifty-nine percent (59%) disapprove. This includes 18% who Strongly Approve and 49% who Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a much worse job approval rating in Kentucky than he earns nationwide.   

Only 33% view the new health care law even somewhat favorably, while 61% have an unfavorable opinion of it. This includes 13% with a Very Favorable view and 41% with a Very Unfavorable one. Overall negatives are several points higher than they are nationally.  

  Fourteen percent (14%) of Kentucky voters say they have been helped by the law. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say they have been hurt by it, compared to 29% nationwide.   

Ninety-three percent (93%) of voters with a Very Favorable view of Obamacare favor Grimes. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the much larger group with a Very Unfavorable opinion support McConnell. 

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Kentucky was conducted on September 1-2, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology

Thirty-six U.S. Senate seats are on the ballot this November. Twenty-one of them are held by Democrats and 15 by Republicans. Democrats have a 53-to-45 majority over Republicans in the Senate. In addition, there are two independent senators who caucus with the Democrats. 

Among all voters nationally, 25% have a favorable opinion of McConnell, while 49% view him unfavorably. This includes Very Favorables of four percent (4%) and Very Unfavorables of 28%. But 27% don’t know enough about the man who has been the Republican leader in the Senate for over seven years to venture any kind of opinion about him. McConnell is viewed favorably by 47% of Kentucky voters and unfavorably by 51%. This includes 23% with a Very Favorable opinion and 34% with a Very Unfavorable one. For Grimes, favorables are 42%, unfavorable 51%. This includes 20% who view her Very Favorably and 31% who share a Very Unfavorable opinion of the challenger. 

By comparison, 53% view the state’s other U.S. senator, Republican Rand Paul, favorably, while 40% have an unfavorable opinion of him, including Very Favorables of 26% and Very Unfavorables of 25%. 

Sixty-six percent (66%) of Bluegrass State voters think the primary focus of any new immigration legislation passed by Congress should be to send the latest wave of illegal immigrants home as quickly as possible. Only 19% think its chief aim should be to make it easier for them to stay in the United States. Only 19% approve of housing any of these illegals in Kentucky. Sixty-three percent (63%) disapprove. This is more support for quick deportation and less support for housing them locally than is found among voters nationwide.  

Seventy-three percent (73%) of voters who approve of housing the illegal immigrants in Kentucky support Grimes. McConnell has the backing of 58% of those who disapprove. Eighteen percent (18%) of all voters in Kentucky rate the economy as good or excellent, but 39% view it as poor. Thirty-five percent (35%) say their own finances are good or excellent, while 19% describe their personal finances as poor. 

See our most recent numbers from the Senate races in AlaskaArkansas,ColoradoGeorgiaIdahoIllinoisIowaKansasLouisianaMaineMichigan,MinnesotaMississippiMontanaNebraskaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNorth CarolinaOklahomaOklahoma (special), OregonSouth CarolinaSouth Carolina (special)South DakotaTennesseeTexasVirginia,West Virginia and Wyoming

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Kentucky voters approve of the job Democratic Governor Steve Beshear is doing, with 20% who Strongly Approve. Just 36% disapprove of his job performance, including 13% who Strongly Disapprove. 

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only. 

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