FRANKFORT — A new Kentucky Poll shows novice political candidate Rand Paul with a commanding 12-point lead over Trey Grayson, the Republican Party establishment's choice in the GOP race for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.
The state's Democratic primary to replace U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning is closer, with Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo holding a seven-point lead over Attorney General Jack Conway, according to the poll commissioned by the Lexington Herald-Leader, WKYT-TV in Lexington and WAVE-TV in Louisville.
With less than two weeks to go before the May 18 election, Conway remains within striking distance of Mongiardo, who leads 39 percent to 32 percent — a result that is within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. An additional 17 percent remain undecided, and 12 percent favor three lesser-known candidates.
"I wouldn't say it's a lock by any stretch, but I would rather be in Mongiardo's situation than Conway's," said Del Ali, president of Research 2000 in Olney, Md., which conducted the poll May 2-4.
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"I think it's a close race that could end up with the winner grabbing a victory margin of only 3 to 4 percentage points," he said.
Among Republicans, Paul holds a 44 percent to 32 percent lead over Secretary of State Trey Grayson. Seventeen percent remain undecided, and 7 percent favor three lesser-known candidates.
"It's Paul's race to lose," Ali said. "Grayson's best hope is for Paul to self-destruct."
The statewide telephone poll surveyed 500 Democrats and 500 Republicans who are likely to vote May 18.
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