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McConnell holds slim lead in Kentucky Senate race (for now)

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mitch McConnell,Kentucky,2014 Elections,Alison Lundergan Grimes,Matt Bevin,Becket Adams

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., currently holds a four-point lead over his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, according to the left-leaning polling firm Public Policy Polling.

The longtime Republican senator leads Kentucky's secretary of state in the polls 44 percent to 40 percent, while the Libertarian candidate, David Patterson, holds about 7 percent.

“Patterson's supporters say if they had to choose between the major party candidates they would pick McConnell by a 44/34 spread, and when you reallocate those voters to their second choice it leaves McConnell with a 47/42 advantage,” PPP reported.

The survey, which was conducted from Aug. 7-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, also found that President Obama has acted as weight on the state's Democratic Party.

“Barack Obama's unpopularity in Kentucky continues to make the landscape difficult for Democrats – only 32 percent of voters approve of the job he's doing to 63 percent who disapprove. Thirty-eight percent of the voters who disapprove of McConnell also disapprove of Obama, and among that group McConnell is receiving 20 percent of the vote, which is how you get to 44 percent of the vote with only a 37 percent approval rating,” the report reads.

“All said the race remains close and McConnell remains unpopular — and among the undecided voters McConnell has just a 10 percent approval rating to 66 percent of voters who disapprove of him. So Grimes should at least have a chance with those folks,” it added.

Luckily for McConnell, he has been able to consolidate some of the voters who opposed him during his primary fight with the Tea Party-backed Matt Bevin.

“At that point, in the middle of his primary fight with Matt Bevin, he had only a 49 point advantage with Republican voters at 69/20. Now in the two way contest he is up 67 points with GOP voters at 78/11, and when you include the Libertarian his advantage is 63 points at 72/9,” according to PPP.

“That unification of Republicans accounts for most of the change we've seen over the last four months,” the report added.

PPP surveyed 991 likely voters. Here are the full results:

PPP Release KY 8121205

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