Poll: McConnell leads Judd for Kentucky Senate, but still vulnerable


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The numbers aren't that far off from a recent poll by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, which put McConnell at 47 percent support to Judd's 43 percent support. The reality of the race is likely somewhere in-between those numbers, but it's notable that two polls with opposite partisan affiliations show McConnell under 50 percent support — an uncomfortable place for any incumbent heading into reelection.

But neither McConnell nor Judd are particularly popular in the state. Near-similar percentages of respondents view them negatively; with 45 percent having an unfavorable view of Judd and 46 percent having an unfavorable view of McConnell. Only 35 percent view Judd favorably, and 44 percent view McConnell favorably.

And McConnell doesn't look likely, according to this poll, to receive a primary challenge — a full 60 percent of Republicans polled said they'd back him, while only 23 percent said they'd support someone else.

Tea Party leaders in the state are looking for a candidate to take on McConnell for what they consider his failure to sufficiently stand up to President Obama, but continued numbers like these may dissuade any potential comers.

McConnell experiences weaker support from women than men, much like the rest of the GOP saw coming out of the 2012 elections. While Judd runs even with him with female voters, both at 44 percent support, McConnell leads with men by 18 percentage points.

But the poll shows that as voters are given more negative information about Judd — including the fact that she supported Obama, is a "radical," and lives in Tennessee — their support for her declines.

Those are the same attacks lobbed by Republican super PAC American Crossroads in an ad hitting Judd in Kentucky, which was read by many as an indication Republicans are taking her potential candidacy seriously.

And Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) further stoked speculation surrounding her bid when he told WHAS11 that he "would actually be surprised if she didn't run at this point."

Harper Polling did not respond to a request for further information on the methodology of the survey.