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Conway Leads Bevin In Closing Days of Governor's Race, Poll Says

Jack Conway
J. Tyler Franklin
Jack Conway

This story has been updated.

With less than a week until Election Day, a new statewide poll shows Democrat Jack Conway with a 5 percentage-point lead over Republican Matt Bevin in the race to be Kentucky's next governor.

Conway, the attorney general, has held a slim lead over Bevin, a Louisville businessman, for months now. In the Bluegrass Poll released Wednesday, Conway was supported by 45 percent of 798 likely voters; Bevin was supported by 40 percent.

Independent candidate Drew Curtis had 5 percent.

The two major party candidates are currently dashing across the state to drum up votes in the twilight of the 2015 campaign season.

Still, 10 percent of voters were undecided according the poll, which was conducted by SurveyUSA for The Courier-Journal, WHAS-11 TV, the Lexington Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV.

On Wednesday evening, Bevin's campaign noted that the Bluegrass Poll last year showed Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in a close race with Sen. Mitch McConnell. McConnell won in a 16-point landslide.

"These numbers show that Jack Conway has failed to convince Kentuckians that he should be our next governor," Bevin campaign manager Ben Hartman said in a statement.

Republicans are doing better at picking off registered Democrats, 17 percent of which say they will vote for Bevin, according to the Bluegrass Poll. Meanwhile, 12 percent of registered Republicans say they will vote for Conway.

Democrats have widened their leads in the races for attorney general, secretary of state and state auditor, according to the poll.

Andy Beshear, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, has expanded his margin over Republican Whitney Westerfield, 47 percent to 35 percent, according to the poll. Beshear has raised $2.7 million during the general election campaign, eclipsing Westerfield’s $151,032.

State Auditor Adam Edelen has 42 percent of would-be voters for his re-election campaign, ahead of Republican state Rep. Mike Harmon’s 34 percent, according to the poll.

And Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has sprinted ahead with 50 percent of the support, compared with Republican Steve Knipper’s 37 percent.

Republicans lead in races for agriculture commissioner and treasurer. Republican Rep. Ryan Quarles has a seven-point lead over Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann in the agriculture commissioner race.

In the race for treasurer, Republican Alison Ball leads Democratic state Rep. Rick Nelson 37 percent to 35 percent.

On a key issue in the race, a slight majority of the poll's respondents said they would favor keeping the state’s expanded Medicaid program. The expansion makes Medicaid available to people living at 138 percent of the federal poverty line or below. Only 24 percent said the expansion should be repealed.

Election day is Tuesday.

(Featured image of Jack Conway by J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL News)

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