Paul consistently led Conway prior to winning the Republican primary, but had never earned more than 50% support. Conway has been stuck in the 30s since the first of the year. Last month, Paul posted a 47% to 38% lead over the Democrat.
Paul, an ophthalmologist and son of maverick GOP Congressman Ron Paul, defeated Trey Grayson, Kentucky’s secretary of state, by a 59% to 35% margin in Tuesday’s Republican Primary. Conway, the state’s attorney general, on the other hand, just barely edged Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo 44% to 43% on Tuesday to capture the Democratic Senate nomination.
While Paul is capitalizing for now on Tea Party unhappiness in Kentucky over national policies, he’s also a political newcomer who’s running against a candidate who has previously run both for Congress and for statewide office. Rookie candidates often make unforced errors and it is difficult to project how well the GOP candidate will handle the campaign trail between now and November.