Not a lot of analysis in this diary, for which I apologize. I just wanted to share this poll of the Ky-Sen race from Political Wire.
It appears, in every head-to-head matchup with potential (and one declared) Democratic challengers, incumbent Senator Jim Bunning loses handily. In fact, the smallest margin is a full 7 points, comfortably outside the margin of error. Full results below the fold.
The candidate preference survey was conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) between 4/2 and 4/3, 2009, and has a margin of error of +/-4%. Results follow:
Do you approve or disapprove of Republican Senator Jim Bunning’s job performance? If you approve, press 1. If you disapprove, press 2. If you’re not sure, press 3.
18% Not Sure................
The poll then goes into favorable/unfavorable of possible challengers, including Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson. Results (represented as favorable/unfavorable/not sure):
Congressman Ben Chandler (D, Ky-6, Lexington): 38/28/34
Attorney General Jack Conway (D): 40/21/39
Auditor Crit Luallen (D): 43/21/25
Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo (D): 41/34/25
Senate President David Williams (R): 28/41/31
Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R): 46/19/36
And then came the money spot. First the head-to-heads with Bunning (represented as Bunning %/Challenger %/Undecided %):
Bunning vs. Chandler: 33/47/20
Bunning vs. Conway: 33/42/26
Bunning vs. Luallen: 34/42/25
Bunning vs. Mongiardo: 36/43/21
In match-ups with the other possible Republican contenders, namely Senate President David Williams and popular Secretary of State Trey Grayson, Democrats still come out ahead against both with only one exception: the only declared Candidate, Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo trails Grayson 40/36/24. This doesn't worry me, and I'll tell you why.
Kentucky is a solid-south Democratic state that has been trending Republican nationally in recent years - though we've made headway in the last couple of Senate matchups - Mongiardo vs. Bunning in 2004 ended with a final margin of less than 2 points, and last year, with absolutely no coattails (unfortunately Obama lost the state 57/41), Democrats still garnered 48% of the vote against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Keep in mind here that Lunsford is a businessman that no one in Kentucky actually likes, and seems to run for something and lose every other year or so. A crappy candidate, and still 48% of voters came out against Mitch McConnell last year.
Grayson himself is said to have once been a Democrat that switched parties. My understanding is that the Secretary of State is good friends with many big figures in the Ky. Democratic Party, including former Party Chair Jonathan Miller. As such (post-hoc ergo propter hoc, I know - I'm not suggesting a causal relationship, only a fact) we don't seem to run very good candidates against him. In 2007, for instance, we ran teacher Bruce Hendrickson, who (admirably, I admit, but kinda stupid for a candidate) refused to stop working his day job during the campaign and thus couldn't campaign even close to full time.
Will a well-funded (Democrat Dan Mongiardo, the only declared candidate in the race, raised over $400,000 in only 6 weeks, setting a new record for first-quarter Democratic fundraising in Kentucky), serious Democratic challenger, running an actual campaign against Trey Grayson fair any better? I think so.
Anyway - there's the poll. Check it out. Discuss. Enjoy. Beat Bunning! Ciao.