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Poll Shows Bevin And Beshear Tied Ahead Of Next Month's Election

matt bevin andy beshear debate
Ryan C. Hermens
Lexington Herald-Leader via AP
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, left, and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear participate in a debate at the Singletary Center for the Arts on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019.

A new poll shows Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear in a dead heat ahead of next month's gubernatorial election.

The same polling firm showed Bevin trailing Beshear by eight percentage pointslast December.

Now, 46& of likely voters say they'll vote for Bevin, 46% say they'll vote for Beshear and 7% are undecided.

Bevin leads among men, older and rural voters while Beshear has more support with women, younger voters in metropolitan areas, according to the poll.

The survey comes a little less than three weeks before Election Day, Nov. 5, when Kentuckians will weigh in on who should occupy statewide offices like governor, attorney general and secretary of state for the next four years.

Mason-Dixon conducted the poll between Oct 10 and 13, interviewing 625 likely voters across the state over the telephone. Mason-Dixon has a "B+" rating according to FiveThirtyEight’s pollster ratings.

The poll shows that Bevin has shored up his support in his own party since the last poll, with 77% of Republicans saying they would vote for him versus 67% last December.

Bevin also has more crossover appeal, according to the poll, with 22% of Democrats signaling support for him versus 15% of Republicans who said they would vote for Beshear.

Beshear hopes that Bevin's unpopularity with teachers will shore up his campaign and encourage some Republican voters to cast ballots for him.

Kentucky still has a plurality of Democrats registered in the state, though their numbers have slowly dwindled.

Last year, Democrats dipped below the 50% mark of registered voters for the first time in state history. This month's registration statistics show 49% registered as Democrats and 42% as Republicans.

Bevin's job approval rating is still under water, but it has improved since the start of the year — up to 45% from 38 %.

Mason-Dixon suggested that Bevin's resurgence could be due to President Donald Trump's popularity in Kentucky amid the impeachment inquiry.

The survey showed 57% of likely voters in Kentucky approving Trump's performance and 65% opposing efforts to remove him from office.

The poll is the first publicly released during the race since Gravis Marketing (rated "C+" by FiveThirtyEight’s pollster rankings) released a poll in June showing Beshear ahead by 6 percentage points.

Some state political watchers have been skeptical of public polling in Kentucky since the Bluegrass Poll showed Democrat Jack Conway ahead of Bevin in the 2015 race by 5%. Bevin ended up winning by almost 9%.

This story first appeared on WFPL. For more stories like this, visit now.

Ryland Barton is WFPL's Managing Editor for Collaboratives.