The most recent poll conducted by Preston-Osborne and The Lane Report shows the tightest margin to date in the governor’s race – but Democratic challenger Steve Beshear still has a double digit lead over incumbent Gov. Ernie Fletcher. The only exception to that was a poll conducted in early summer that showed Gov.
Ernie Fletcher trailing challenger Steve Beshear by only three points. All other polls made public since the primary in May show Beshear up anywhere from 15-28 percentage points. The current gap of 15 points is down from 18 on the Lane Report poll released in August.
“You can see the gap narrowing a bit over time,” said Phil Osborne, CEO of Preston-Osborne. “Negative campaigning has a way of doing that. The governor’s ‘No Casino’ message and the negative commercials being run by the Republican Governor’s Association may be moving some of the soft supporters and undecided voters into the Fletcher column. Still, at 15 points down and seven weeks out (at the time the survey was completed), this presents a serious challenge” for Gov. Fletcher’s campaign.
The survey was conducted among households that had voted in at least three of the past five general elections. Data were collected from Sept. 13 through Sept. 17. The survey found Beshear trailing in the Fourth Congressional District (49-43) and tied in the Fifth (41-41). He was leading in every other region of the state, including a 30-point lead in the Third District.
By party, Beshear wins Democrats, 67-21. The governor wins Republicans, 70-18. Independents go to Beshear, 48-28 with the balance undecided.
“One problem for some of the Republican candidates in downticket races is that they’re getting no lift from the top of the ticket,” said Osborne. “That’s particularly true in the secretary of state’s race where incumbent Trey Grayson and challenger Bruce Hendrickson are tied – despite the fact that Hendrickson has received little support from traditional Democratic groups.”
The survey sample of 617 indicates a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.