May 12, 2014
5/12: In Kentucky McConnell and Grimes Neck and Neck
NBC News/Marist Poll
Among registered voters in Kentucky including undecided voters who are leaning toward a candidate, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell receives 46% to 45% for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. One percent supports someone else, and 8% are undecided.
Click Here for Complete May 12, 2014 Kentucky NBC News/Marist Poll Release and Tables
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: NBC News/Marist Poll
“The battle for the Bluegrass State definitely bears watching as both sides hope for a majority in the U.S. Senate in 2014,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
- Party ID. More than eight in ten Republicans — 83% — support McConnell while 75% of Democrats back Grimes. A notable 19% of Democrats are for McConnell compared with only 9% of Republicans who support Grimes. McConnell edges Grimes, 46% to 41%, among independent voters.
- Gender. There is a gender gap. 51% of men support McConnell while 40% are for Grimes. Among women voters, 49% are for Grimes compared with 42% for McConnell.
Against Republican businessman Matt Bevin, Grimes has the support of 46% of registered voters in the state including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate compared with 37% for Bevin. One percent is for another candidate, and 15% are undecided.
Table: 2014 Race for U.S. Senate in Kentucky: McConnell/Grimes (Kentucky Registered Voters Including Leaners)
Table: 2014 Race for U.S. Senate in Kentucky: Bevin/Grimes (Kentucky Registered Voters Including Leaners)
Low Favorability and Approval Ratings for McConnell…Grimes Unknown to Many
45% of Kentucky adults have an unfavorable opinion of Mitch McConnell. 39% have a favorable impression of him while 13% are unsure how to rate him. Among registered voters, 46% have a negative opinion of McConnell. 42% have a positive one, and 11% are unsure how to rate him.
When it comes to McConnell’s job performance, 45% of Kentucky residents disapprove of how he is currently doing in the United States Senate. 39% approve, and 16% are unsure. Among registered voters in the state, 46% give McConnell low marks. 41% are pleased with his performance, and 13% are unsure.
Looking at Grimes, 36% of Kentucky residents have a positive impression of her and 23% have a negative one. 14% have never heard of Grimes, and 27% are unsure how to rate her. Among registered voters, 39% have a favorable opinion of Grimes while 24% have an unfavorable one. One in ten — 10% — has never heard of her, and 27% are unsure how to rate Grimes.
Table: McConnell Favorability (Kentucky Adults)
Table: Mitch McConnell Approval Rating (Kentucky Adults)
Table: Grimes Favorability (Kentucky Adults)
McConnell Outdistances Bevin in GOP Primary for U.S. Senate in Kentucky
In the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, Senator Mitch McConnell leads his closest competitor, Matt Bevin, 57% to 25%, among likely Republican primary voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted early or by absentee ballot.
Among likely Republican primary voters in Kentucky including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted early or by absentee ballot, here is how the Republican primary for U.S. Senate stands:
- 57% Mitch McConnell
- 25% Matt Bevin
- 3% Chris Payne
- 1% Shawna Sterling
- 1% Brad Copas
- <1% other
- 13% undecided
Looking at strength of support, 50% of likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference say they are strongly committed to their choice of candidate. 37% are somewhat behind their selection, and 11% might vote differently. Two percent are unsure.
When it comes to the level of support for the top-tier candidates, 51% of McConnell’s backers say they are strongly in his corner. Bevin enjoys a similar level of support. 53% of his backers say they will not waver in their commitment to him.
How does the likely Republican primary electorate view the front-runner in the GOP contest? About two-thirds — 66% — have a favorable impression of McConnell. 26% have an unfavorable opinion of him, and 8% are unsure.
Table: 2014 Republican Primary for U.S. Senate in Kentucky (Kentucky Likely Republican Primary Voters with Leaners and Early and Absentee Voters)
Table: Intensity of Support for Republican U.S. Senate Candidates in Kentucky (Kentucky Likely Republican Primary Voters with a Candidate Preference)
Table: McConnell Favorability (Kentucky Likely Republican Primary Voters)
More than Six in Ten Approve of Beshear’s Job Performance
61% of adults in Kentucky approve of the job Governor Steve Beshear is doing in office. 22% disapprove, and 17% are unsure. Similar proportions of registered voters share these views. 63% applaud Governor Beshear’s job performance. 22% think he misses the mark, and 14% are unsure.
Table: Steve Beshear Approval Rating (Kentucky Adults)
Health Care Hiccups in Kentucky?
A majority of Kentucky residents — 56% — have an unfavorable impression of Obamacare. 33% have a favorable impression of it, and 11% are unsure how to rate it. Similar proportions of registered voters share these views. 57% of voters have a negative view of Obamacare. 33% have a positive one, and 10% are unsure how to rate the law.
Not surprisingly, then, half of Kentucky adults — 50% — think the new health care law is a bad idea. This includes 42% who strongly feel this way and 8% who believe it is a bad idea. However, 34% of residents think the new law is a good idea. Included here are 26% who strongly believe the new law is a good idea and 8% who are somewhat positive towards it. 11% do not have an opinion either way, and 5% are unsure.
When it comes to Kynect, Kentucky’s Health Insurance Marketplace, 29% have a favorable opinion of the service. 22% have an unfavorable one, and nearly three in ten — 29% — have never heard of Kynect. 21% are unsure how to rate it.
Table: Obamacare Favorability (Kentucky Adults)
Table: Is the New Health Care Law a Good or Bad Idea (Kentucky Adults)
Table: Kynect Favorability (Kentucky Adults)
On the Issue of Abortion…
67% of Kentucky residents think abortion should be illegal. This includes 21% who say it should be illegal without exceptions and 46% who say it should be illegal except in cases of rape, incest, and to save the mother’s life. 28%, however, report abortion should be legal. Included here are 18% who say abortion should always be legal and 10% who think it should be legal most of the time.
Table: Should Abortion be Legal or Illegal (Kentucky Adults)
Majority Disapproves of Obama’s Job Performance
55% of Kentucky residents disapprove of how President Obama is doing in office. 33% approve, and 13% are unsure. The opinions of registered voters reflect these views. 56% say the president misses the mark. 32% report he is doing well, and 12% are unsure.
Table: President Obama Approval Rating (Kentucky Adults)
Nation Needs a New Compass, Say About Two-Thirds
Do Kentucky residents think the country is on the right course? 66% believe it is moving in the wrong direction. 24% say it is travelling on the right road, and 9% are unsure. Among registered voters in Kentucky, 67% report the nation is off course. 25% think it is moving in the right direction, and 9% are unsure.
Table: Right or Wrong Direction of the Country (Kentucky Adults)