The Revenge Of Aqua Buddha: Rand Paul Up By 15 In Final Pre-Election Poll
The last poll of the Kentucky Senate race from Public Policy Polling shows Rand Paul headed for what looks like an overwhelming victory:
Rand Paul has expanded his lead in the Kentucky Senate race even further over the last week and is headed for a blowout win. His margin over Jack Conway is 55-40.
Kentucky is obviously a conservative state. Conway’s ability to win was always going to depend on getting a lot of folks who supported John McCain in 2008 to vote Democratic for the Senate this time around. The most amazing finding on this final poll is that Rand Paul is actually picking up more Obama voters (15%) than Conway is McCain voters (9%). That’s the formula for a landslide.
Over the last month of the campaign this went from being a relatively competitive race to a not so competitive one. That didn’t have a ton to do with Rand Paul- his favorability in early September was 45/40 and now it’s 48/43, basically unchanged. The shift is more a reflection of Jack Conway’s image with Kentucky voters being shattered in the closing days. Seven weeks ago his favorability split evenly with 36% of voters rating him positively and negatively alike. Now he’s very unpopular with only 34% of voters saying they like him and 52% expressing unfavorable opinions toward him.
There are two things you can point to that explain this, I think. First, the Paul campaign came out early in October with a very effective ad that essentially made Conway out to be a rubber stamp for Barack Obama’s agenda. In a state where Obama’s approval rating is below 40%, that’s an albatross. Second, it’s fairly obvious that Conway’s last minute decision to go negative with the so-called “Aqua Buddha” ad damaged his reputation among Kentucky voters than it did Paul’s. For all his mis-steps early in the campaign, on the other hand, Paul ran a fairly effective campaign and, in a Republican year in a conservative state, that’s all he really needed to do.
Full poll results here.