| Braun Research for cn|2 (8/30-9/1, likely voters, 8/16-18 in parens):
Jack Conway (D): 37 (42)
Rand Paul (R): 42 (41)
Undecided: 20 (16)
Braun Research continues their biweekly polling odyssey of Kentucky with a freshly-baked survey showing Rand Paul bouncing back to a five-point lead. For those keeping score, these cn|2 polls have bounced back and forth, from 3 and 10-point Paul leads in their first two rounds, to a 1-point lead for Conway two weeks ago.
I'm not too sure if you can stitch together a narrative from high-MoE sub-samples like these, but it's still interesting:
Paul picked up support from the last poll in Conway's two stronghold areas from the primary, including his backyard of the 3rd Congressional District that covers Louisville. The cn|2 Poll shows Paul leading Conway by 10 points in the 6th Congressional District that covers Lexington and Central Kentucky.
The poll results for congressional districts has a margin of error of about 8.8 points in this cn|2 Poll.
Conway has narrowed previous gaps in the 2nd Congressional District in west-central Kentucky from eight to four points. And support for the Democratic candidate has swung 17 points in the 5th Congressional District - which covers Eastern Kentucky - over the last two weeks. He went from being down three points to going up 14 points in this latest poll.
This is the second poll in a row where Braun found Conway surging in the Eastern 5th CD. A month ago, Conway trailed Paul by 14% in that district, and now leads by the same margin. Are we seeing the effect of Rand Paul's call to pull federal funds from local anti-drug initiatives (a particularly salient issue in Eastern Kentucky) at play here? While still respecting that portly margin of error, I'm guessing so.
Meanwhile, we also have some gubernatorial numbers (no trend lines):
Steve Beshear (D-inc): 44
David Williams (R): 38
Steve Beshear (D-inc): 49
Phil Moffett (R): 29
By a 44-36 margin, voters say that Beshear deserves a second term. Considering the carnage we're seeing for other incumbent Dem governors this year, those numbers could be a lot worse. Nevertheless, this should be a very competitive race, although likely less so if the tea-flavored ticket led by businessman Phil Moffett can win the primary against state Senate leader David Williams. Remember -- this off-year race is only a year away!
One red flag about this, though, is that I suspect that Braun is using the same likely voter sample for the Senate race as for the Governor's race. Perhaps two separate samples would have yielded similar results, but I don't think this is the most methodologically precise approach.
For their part, the Williams campaign has released an internal poll taken by some firm called Got-Focus, showing Beshear down by 4.