For the second time this week, a public poll shows the Republican nominee for Senate in Kentucky, Rand Paul, with a big lead over his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway. At the same time, a new poll from a Democratic pollster shows the race to be much closer than that, though it still shows Paul with a lead. Meanwhile, Conway's campaign is vocally protesting the public poll results, claiming their man is still running close to Paul.
The new survey of 500 likely voters in Kentucky from Rasmussen
today shows Paul with a whopping 54-39 lead over Conway. The result includes "leaners" -- respondents who first said they were were undecided in the race and are then pushed to make a decision. The poll shows Paul gaining momentum over the previous Rasmussen poll, conducted Aug. 17
, which showed Paul leading 51-41.
A few days ago, SurveyUSA
released a poll showing Paul ahead 55-40. Even Paul was wary of that one, as one Kentucky TV station
reported: "neither Paul or his campaign staff expressed confidence in the poll's 15 point margin."
Conway's campaign completely rejected the poll, questioning SUSA's sample and its methodology. They preferred to talk about a new poll
from Democratic polling firm
Anzalone-Liszt which shows Paul leading 48-45.
Rasmussen, of course, is more than a little controversial in Democratic circles so it's unlikely the new poll from the firm will do anything to silence the criticisms of the SUSA results from Monday. But even Conway's pollster said the poll "shows the race is a 6 point race" when it's "adjusted to historical norms."
The TPM Poll Average shows Paul ahead 47.0-40.8.