KY-Sen: McConnell in Some Real Trouble
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Oct 29, 2007 at 01:41:48 PM EDT
MediaCzech noted this already over in Breaking Blue and bluegrassroots has the story as well, but the latest Research 2000 poll (.pdf) out of Kentucky shows some real problems for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose disapproval rating in the poll (46 percent) is greater than his approval rating (45 percent).
As you can see, McConnell is having trouble getting above the mid-40s against any Democrat polled. These numbers aren't terribly surprising given that earlier this year McConnell commissioned clearly biased polling -- and even then he only polled at 55 percent against a named Democrat. While the McConnell camp might suggest that Research 2000 didn't push respondents strongly enough, with as much as one-fifth of respondents stating that they were undecided. Yet given that McConnell has represented the state in the Senate for more than two decades yet still is polling well under 50 percent in named head-to-head matchups against potential Democratic challengers says a lot.
Looking through these matchups, Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler doesn't seem terribly likely to run, at least potentially due to the fact that the state's other seat is up in 2010 and Jim Bunning appears even more vulnerable than McConnell.
The candidate who runs strongest in the poll other than Chandler is Crit Luallen, who is currently running for reelection as state auditor (the election is in eight days). If that position sounds familiar to you, it could be because one of the Democrats' strongest Senate candidates in 2006, Claire McCaskill, served as state auditor of neighboring Missouri when she ran for Senate. Perhaps that's a coincidence -- but then perhaps it's not. We should know more about Luallen's ballot strength in a little more than a week.
The other two candidates polled, Attorney General Greg Stumbo and Iraq War veteran Andrew Horne, both poll a bit lower than either Chandler or Luallen, but not so much so that one would assume at this point that they can't win.
Overall, the takeaway from this set of data is clear, though: Mitch McConnell is weak and beatable.