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Voter Turnout Key to Kentucky Senate Race, Political Scientist Says

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The latest Bluegrass Poll in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race gives Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes a two-point lead over incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell,46 to 44 percent. It’s a six-point swing for Grimes since the previous Bluegrass Poll, conducted in late August. The poll also said Libertarian candidate David Patterson had three percent. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus four percent. The Grimes camp characterized the surge as a sign that Kentuckians are rallying around the candidate heading into the final weeks of the campaign. The McConnell campaign dismissed the poll as an “outlier,” saying the Senate Republican leader has maintained a clear lead in 14 previous polls.We discussed the poll results and what’s ahead with University of Louisville Political Science Professor Dewey Clayton.Listen:Interview with Dewey ClaytonOn what to expect in the final weeks of the Senate campaign:“I think that both candidates will be sort of beating the bushes, and trying to make their case, make their argument. Just basically try to mobilize voters because I do think that clearly the election is going to be close to the wire, and I think clearly is going to depend on who is better able to get out the vote.”The Bluegrass Poll was conducted for The Courier-Journal, the Lexington Herald-Leader and TV stations WHAS and WKYT.The general election is Nov. 4. The candidates are scheduled to debate on Monday.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.