KY-Gov: Fletcher Stuck in the 30s in Yet Another Poll

Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher just can't seem to catch a break these days. The Republican is up for reelection this fall and by all estimations seems to be a long shot for winning another term at this point. Yet even in the polling most favorable to him -- polling that showed him within 3 points back in July, when other polling pegged his deficit at between 18 and 23 points -- now shows him down by a double-digit margin. Take a look:

(R)(D)
Fletcher/
Rudolph
Beshear/
Mongiardo
Insider Advantage (.doc)
9/24-25
3545
Bluegrass Poll
9/13-18
3555
Research 2000
9/10-13
3956
SurveyUSA
9/8-10
3958
SurveyUSA
8/4-6
3758
Lane Report
7/25-8/2
3149
SurveyUSA
7/14-16
3659
Insider Advantage
7/8-9
3841
Rasmussen Reports
5/24-25
3551
SurveyUSA
5/23-24
3462
1-Month Average
9/8-25
37.053.5
5-Month Average
5/23-9/25
35.953.4

While it may be fair to say that there is a fair share of voters currently undecided on the Governor's race and that, what's more, other pollsters are underestimating this segment of the electorate, it seems fairly apparent that Insider Advantage is greatly overestimating this segment of the electorate. No other pollster in the last three months, in fact, has found more than 10 percent of the electorate to be undecided. So any worries about Beshear not closing the deal can likely be thrown out. The race might not be over now, but it's about as close as these things come to foregone conclusions.

KY-Gov: A Race that Just Ain't Budging...

... and that's not a good thing for the Republicans.

Late last week received yet more polling on the Kentucky Governor's race, and lo and behold the data looks an awful lot like all of the other data we've been seeing. The latest numbers come from the Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll, which interviewed 667 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points

(R)(D)
Fletcher/
Rudolph
Beshear/
Mongiardo
Bluegrass Poll
9/13-18
3555
Research 2000
9/10-13
3956
SurveyUSA
9/8-10
3958
SurveyUSA
8/4-6
3758
Lane Report
7/25-8/2
3149
SurveyUSA
7/14-16
3659
Insider Advantage
7/8-9
3841
Rasmussen Reports
5/24-25
3551
SurveyUSA
5/23-24
3462
2-Month Average
8/4-9/13
37.556.8
5-Month Average
5/23-9/13
36.054.3

Considering that Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher's approval rating sits at 42 percent in the state -- quite an accomplishment for a man who had to pardon his indicted aides to innoculate himself from legal woes -- the fact that Fletcher is pulling in just 35 percent of the vote in this poll is at least somewhat remarkable.

But even more remarkable is the fact that this race just won't budge. Looking up at the chart above you'll see that Fletcher's numbers really haven't moved that much in the last four or five months, perhaps inching up a bit (he's slightly higher in the 2-month average than he is in the 5-month average, but not my much) but not getting anywhere near the point where he would have a reasonable shot at securing another term. As long as this race remains static, the Democrats are strongly favored to win here.

KY-Gov: Another Poll, Another Big Beshear Lead

Another week, another round of polling out of the Kentucky Governor's race -- and more of the same. Take a look at the latest Research 2000 polling (along with other polling from the state in the last several months):

(R)(D)
Fletcher/
Rudolph
Beshear/
Mongiardo
Research 2000
9/10-13
3956
SurveyUSA
9/8-10
3958
SurveyUSA
8/4-6
3758
Lane Report
7/25-8/2
3149
SurveyUSA
7/14-16
3659
Insider Advantage
7/8-9
3841
Rasmussen Reports
5/24-25
3551
SurveyUSA
5/23-24
3462
2-Month Average
8/4-9/13
38.357.3
5-Month Average
5/23-9/13
35.154.3

Looking at more data from the Research 2000 poll the picture actually gets worse for Fletcher. Currently, Beshear leads in every region of the state by at least a double-digit margin. What's more, while Beshear sports a net +23 point net favorability spread (57/34), Fletcher's numbers are significantly worse at -17 (40/57). And to make matters worse, nearly a quarter of Republicans (23 percent) say they intend to support Beshear over Fletcher. To compare, even Ted Strickland, who won the Ohio gubernatorial election by a 60 percent to 37 percent margin in 2006, received less Republican support than Beshear is in this Research 2000 poll.

KY-Gov: Democrat Beshear Remains Strong

In eight weeks Kentuckians will go to the polls to select who will serve as their Governor for the next four years. It appears they are overwhelmingly intent on electing Democrat Steve Beshear instead of reelecting Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher. Take a look at the latest polling from SurveyUSA (which I've included in a chart along with other polling from the race as well as an average of that polling):

(R)(D)
Fletcher/
Rudolph
Beshear/
Mongiardo
SurveyUSA
9/8-10
3958
SurveyUSA
8/4-6
3758
Lane Report
7/25-8/2
3149
SurveyUSA
7/14-16
3659
Insider Advantage
7/8-9
3841
Rasmussen Reports
5/24-25
3551
SurveyUSA
5/23-24
3462
Average
5/23-9/10/07
35.754.0

While Republicans have a strong, though not definite opportunity to pick up the governorship in Louisiana this fall, it increasingly looks like the race in Kentucky is about as close to a lock for the Democrats as races involving a GOP incumbent, at least offsetting the potential loss in Louisiana. The fact that this race has been so stable for the last several months is terrible news for Fletcher and the Republicans. Any incumbent polling under 40 percent is in danger, but one consistently polling under 40 percent over a long period of time is particularly vulnerable.

Beshear/Mongiardo on ActBlue

LA-Gov: Jindal No Shoo-In for First Round Knockout

We finally have the first non-partisan polling out of the 2007 Louisiana gubernatorial election since the David Vitter scandal and Democratic ads highlighting controversial writings by Republican Bobby Jindal, and the numbers show an interesting race.

Kitchens Group, September 4, 500 respondents (unclear if they are adults, voters or likely voters)

Candidate (Party)Percent
Jindal (R)51
Boasso (D)11
Campbell (D)8
Georges (R)7
Undecided20

To give a bit of background, in order for Jindal or any other candidate to win the governorship this November, he or she will be required to secure 50 percent plus one of the vote. In the absence of this majority, regardless of the size of the seeming winner's plurality, the race will go to a runoff between the top two vote-getters.

Right now, Jindal is polling above 50 percent, so talk of a runoff election at this point isn't necessarily warranted. What's more, it seems evident that the Democrats have a more work to do if they hope to force a runoff election. But if Jindal is unable to get a majority -- and his campaign, per the poll linked above, is strongly pushing the possibility that they will be forced into a runoff (probably hedging their bets) -- is he in such a strong position to be immune in a second round of polling?

Let's start with the overall results of the poll before moving forward to the showing of Jindal. Overall, the poll shows that the two leading Republican candidates are polling at a combined 58 percent of the vote, seemingly an indication that Louisianans are determined to an elect a Republican Governor. Not necessarily so, however. In the first round of balloting in the open seat race for the United States Senate in Louisiana in 1996, the Republican candidates received roughly 54.6 percent of the vote while the Democratic candidates received just 43.5 percent of the vote. Yet in the following runoff election, Democrat Mary Landrieu, who had received just 21.5 percent of the vote in the open "jungle primary," won with 50.2 percent of the vote (and still serves in the Senate today).

That same 1996 election showed, also, that it's not always the case that the winner of the open primary prevails in the runoff election. In the case of 1996, Republican Congressman Woody Jenkins led the pack with 26.2 percent of the vote but ended up losing to Landrieu in the runoff (as alluded to above). More recently, and perhaps more to the point, Jindal "won" the open primary for Governor in 2003 by a 33 percent to 18 percent margin over Democrat Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who eventually bested him in the runoff by 4 points.

This is not all to say that Jindal would be doomed in a runoff election but rather that he would not necessarily be destined to win a runoff should he fail to secure majority support this November.

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