Morning Digest: Another poll gives Democrats a small edge in Kentucky with one week to go

Kentucky Democrat Jack Conway

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jack Conway

Leading Off:
KY-Gov: If Western Kentucky University’s new poll of the Bluegrass State’s gubernatorial showdown next week is right, then the RGA’s late decision to try to rescue Matt Bevin is not going very well at all. WKU finds Democrat Jack Conway with a 45-40 lead, while left-leaning independent Drew Curtis takes 7 percent of the vote. That leaves just 8 percent undecided, Bevin would have to capture three quarters of those who haven’t made up their mind just to catch up to Conway. Given that Curtis supporters are more likely to migrate in the Democratic direction, that’s a tall order indeed.

But as we well know, undecideds in a red state almost invariably lean Republican, as just about every pollster who tested the waters in Kentucky’s Senate race learned last year to the industry’s collective chagrin. That group included WKU, whose

last, and only poll of the race gave Mitch McConnell just a 4-point lead (he went on to win by 16). Of course, everyone blew that race, so the real question is whether WKU, which otherwise doesn’t have much if any track record, took the right lessons from it.

And there are plenty of differences between the two contests: Democrats have fared far better in state rather than federal races in Kentucky; this election involves an open seat rather than an incumbent seeking another term; the mood doesn’t seem to be nearly as hostile toward Democrats this year as it was last year; and Bevin is an atrociously flawed candidates who own party gave up on him barely a month before Election Day. Yet in spite of everything, it’ll be a big deal if Democrats can successfully defend this governorship. We’ll see if they can in just a week.

P.S. Bevin has a new ad that uses the word “Obama” eight times in trying slur Conway as a “rubber stamp” for the president.

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