My problem with PPP’s North Carolina poll is replicated in their Kentucky poll, showing Rand Paul tied with Jack Conway, with 43 percent each.
In 2008, exit polls showed Kentucky’s electorate splitting 47 percent Democrat, 38 percent Republican, 15 percent independent. Today’s PPP poll splits 52 percent Democrat, 37 percent Republican, 11 percent independent. (They also have a slightly more female sample than 2008; in the last presidential election it split 54–46; in their sample it splits 55–45.)
Democrats will make up a significantly larger share of the electorate in what is largely regarded as a good year for the GOP? I suppose it is possible that the controversy surrounding Rand Paul’s remarks might drive some Republicans to stay home. But enough for a five percent swing when there’s a consensus among pollsters that Obama’s approval rating is pretty darn low in the Bluegrass State? Color me skeptical.
I don’t doubt that Rand Paul will have a tougher time this year than your average Republican. But I have a hard time believing that he’s going to single-handedly repel GOP voters eager to send a message to Washington.