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PPP: Paul and Conway Tied in Kentucky Senate Race

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) and Tea Party icon Rand Paul (R) are all tied up in their race for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat — or at least that’s what a Public Policy Polling survey tells us this afternoon.

Both candidates have 43 percent support in the poll, with 14 percent undecided. PPP’s last poll of the race, at the beginning of May, showed Paul leading by 1 percentage point.

PPP attributes the tie to some voters’ dislike of Paul. PPP found that 42 percent of voters have an unfavorable opinion of Paul, while 40 percent had no opinion at all about Conway. Paul generated a great deal of national attention following his win in the May 18 Republican primary over establishment favorite Trey Grayson, but got burned by the spotlight after he made controversial comments on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. More recently, he suggested the unemployed stop asking for government handouts. Paul’s national media exposure had a negative effect on his standing with voters, 38 percent of whom told PPP they were less likely to vote for him as a result.

It is unclear at this point whether the PPP poll is an outlier or not — though the poll’s results do not line up with other recent surveys of the race. A Rasmussen Reports poll conducted June 28 showed Paul leading by seven percentage points — a one-point drop from Rasmussen’s poll in early June. A Survey USA poll from late May showed Paul leading by six points, 51-45.

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