PPP’s newest Kentucky poll finds that Mitch McConnell is the least popular Senator in the country

18 Dec

Kentucky Senate race continues to look like a toss up

PPP’s newest Kentucky poll finds that Mitch McConnell is the least popular Senator in the country and as a result Alison Lundergan Grimes is remaining very competitive with him, even as Democrats have struggled nationally over the last couple months.

Only 31% of voters approve of the job McConnell is doing to 61% who disapprove. He’s only on narrowly positive ground with Republicans at 47/41, and he meets with nearly universal disapproval from independents (22/66) and Democrats (19/75). Attack ads in recent months have taken their toll on Grimes’ image too- where in May she had a 34/24 favorability rating, now she’s dropped a net 16 points to 31/37. She was at almost break even with Republicans in the spring at 26/30 but is now at 10/53.

McConnell leads Grimes just 43/42 head to head. McConnell’s 43% standing is the same as where we found him in October, while Grimes has seen a slight decline in her support from its previous 45% mark. As unpopular as McConnell is, it’s helping his cause that Barack Obama is just as bad off with a 31% approval rating to 64% of voters disapproving of him.

If Matt Bevin was somehow able to snag the Republican nomination from McConnell he would lead Grimes by the same one point margin, at 39/38. Bevin will have to come from behind in the primary though. Right now McConnell has a 53/26 advantage over him. McConnell is theoretically vulnerable. Primary voters say by a 42/39 margin that they’d like ‘someone more conservative’ to be the GOP nominee next year. Voters identifying themselves as ‘very conservative’ prefer someone else 55/31.

Whether Bevin can position himself as a better alternative to McConnell remains to be seen though. He remains mostly unknown to Republican voters in the state- 61% don’t have an opinion about him one way or the other. And the voters who do have an opinion about him don’t particularly like him- just 14% see him favorably to 25% with a negative opinion. GOP voters say they like Rand Paul better than McConnell by a 59/27 margin, but so far they’re not seeing Bevin as someone in the Paul vein.One issue that could push McConnell’s overall support in one direction or another is the minimum wage. 54% of voters in the state support increasing it to $10 an hour, while 33% are opposed. If McConnell works to block that from happening it in the Senate it could further erode his ability to win back the Democrats and independents who are driving his numbers so far down right now. But if he pulls a surprise move and gets behind the effort to increase it, it could challenge the negative perception most voters have of him.

Full results here

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Uncategorized



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