A surprising new Bluegrass Poll released on Monday shows that Alison Lundergan Grimes now leads incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) by 2 points in the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky, 46% to 44%. This is the first poll in four months that shows Grimes in the lead. All other recent polls have shown McConnell with a lead of 2 to 6 points.
The poll of 632 likely Kentucky voters was conducted by Survey USA for the Louisville Courier-Journal and other Kentucky media outlets between September 30 and October 2. Since Grimes’ 2 point lead is within the poll’s 4% margin of error, the race is effectively a dead heat.
Survey USA’s most recent previous Bluegrass Poll, released on August 30, showed McConnell with a 4 point lead over Grimes, 46% to 42%. In that poll, Libertarian candidate David Patterson received 5% support. In the new poll, Patterson’s support dropped to 3%.
But Steven Voss, a political scientist at the University of Kentucky, told the Louisville Courier-Journal, “”I would take these results with a grain of salt, given that they deviate from everything we’ve seen recently. I don’t buy the absolute totals. I think she’s still behind.”
The poll does contain some head scratching changes. For example, the August 30 SurveyUSA poll showed that McConnell lead Grimes by 10 points among men, 48% to 38%. The new poll shows that he leads Grimes by only 1 point among men, 45% to 44%.
More surprisingly, the August 30 SurveyUSA poll showed that McConnell lead Grimes by 11 points among registered voters aged 35 to 49, 49% to 38%. The new poll shows that Grimes leads McConnell by 10 points in this age group, 47% to 37%.
SurveyUSA did not provide an explanation for this dramatic 21 point swing in the poll results.
Press releases about the new poll provided no information about voter attitudes about the “war on coal,” which both McConnell and Grimes claim to oppose.
In the August 30 Survey USA poll, registered voters believed by a 44% to 22% that McConnell, not Grimes “would most effectively fight for Kentucky’s coal interests.”
Grimes has dramatically increased her attacks against McConnell on the coal issue in recent weeks. On Monday, the Washington Free Beacon reported on a James O’Keefe undercover video of several Grimes staffer who said she was lying about her support for the coal industry simply to get elected.
You can watch the full video here:
Breitbart News contacted both the Grimes campaign and the McConnell campaign for reaction to the latest poll and the O’Keefe video, but has not yet received a response from either campaign.