SurveyUSA's latest poll on the Kentucky race for Governor shows what a total and complete failure David Williams has been as a candidate, on every level. Having swept every state-wide election in recent history, with the exception of the last race for governor, in which their incumbent was badly damaged by scandals of his own making, the Republican Party in Kentucky is going to be doing some difficult self-reflection as to how their train went so badly off the tracks.
According to the SurveyUSA poll released last week, 30% of likely Republican voters plan to vote for the Democratic incumbant, Steve Beshear. 40% of conservatives plan to vote for Beshear. Even 21% of voters who identify with the tea party plan to vote for Beshear. Pro-life voters say they will vote for Beshear over Williams 43% to 41%, and 47% of gun owners say they will support Beshear to Williams' 35%.
The graphs below* compare Kentucky exit poll results for John McCain and Rand Paul, with the SurveyUSA results for David Williams heading into today's election. McCain is shown in blue, Rand Paul in orange, and David Williams in yellow.
There will be some who will ask whether Mr. Williams was hurt by Gatewood Galbraith splitting the vote on the right. The simple answer is "no." Only one segment of voters showed significant intent to vote for Mr. Galbraith, and that was Independents at 24%. But Independents are only expected to make up 5% of the total vote. If anything, Gatewood Galbraith's campaign may have pulled more votes from Steve Beshear than David Williams, with 13% of liberals planning to vote for Galbraith. Only 7% of conservatives said they would vote for Galbraith.
* Data for McCain in 2008 retrieved from The New York Times. Data for Rand Paul retrieved from CBS News. Data for David Williams retrieved from SurveyUSA. Comparable data did not exist in The New York Times for ideology, and their data on education level is flawed by an apparent typo, making analysis impossible. In some instances where data groupings did not match up, I approximated by combining categories and re-weighting the data appropriately where possible. For example, Survey USA and The New York Times used slightly different income categories (one set of data used a $40,000 cut off, another used $50,000) and age ranges. I combined and re-weighted some of the age ranges and ignored the minor difference in income ranges. The data is available at the links above, and I encourage anyone to review it on their own. Ultimately, the disparities between the earlier two Republicans and Williams are so large and uniform, that the minor differences in categories is immaterial to my conclusion.
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