Rasmussen: Paul up 8 in Kentucky

Democrats think they have a rare opportunity to steal a red-state Senate seat in Kentucky after Republicans nominated Rand Paul to run against Jack Conway, but so far, it still looks like a longshot.  Rasmussen reports that the polling has stabilized in Kentucky after the primaries, with Paul bouncing around just below 50%, but Conway stuck in the low 40s:

It’s the same story in Kentucky’s race for U.S. Senate again this month. Republican Rand Paul continues to hold a modest lead over Democrat Jack Conway.

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Paul picking up 49% of the vote, while Conway earns support from 41%. Four percent (4%) would prefer another candidate, while six percent (6%) more are not sure.

Support for both Paul has been at 49% for three straight surveys while Conway has held steady at 41% or 42%.

With the exception of a big bounce immediately after his primary win, Paul has received between 46% and 50% support in match-ups with Conway since January. During the same period, Conway has earned between 34% and 42% of the vote.

Paul had a momentary stumble after his primary win, but seems to have improved his media performances since then.  He’s riding some powerful tailwinds at the moment.  Only 9% of Kentucky’s likely voters think the economy is good or excellent, with 50% calling it “poor.”  Almost two-thirds (64%) believe the US is still in recession.  Barack Obama gets an anemic 42/58 approval rating, and the best news Conway gets is that Obama won’t be on the 2010 ticket.

However, the view of Democratic policies is especially poor in Kentucky, and that relates directly to Congress.  Asked whether the stimulus package created jobs, only 23% said yes, while 58% said no.  Six in ten voters want tax cuts to create jobs, while only 16% want more government spending to fix the problems in the economy.  If Rand Paul can turn this election into a referendum on the agenda pushed by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, he could wind up blowing Conway out of the water.