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.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Michael says:

    The simple explanation is…Jack Conway is a uber Obama lib…who never was going to win in KY.
    Like duh!

  2. wr says:

    The simple explanation is… as soon as Rand Paul learned just how loathed his insane “liberatarian” ideas would make him, he started lying about what he believed.

    Like duh!

  3. Ted says:

    I knew as soon as Conway ran that stupid negative ad
    He was done…….I am just sorry for you poor people who will know have Rand Paul representing you. So sad, you arejust going to be a step ahead of neveda if Angle wins, if that is an consolation. Probaly not next time you won’t let these idiots rule your primary’s good luck Kentucky you will need it.