Kentucky: Yarmuth Tops Northup in New Poll for Media

Posted July 22, 2008 at 6:30pm

Rep. John Yarmuth (D) held a 10-point lead over the woman he ousted in 2006, according to a new poll conducted for a Louisville TV station.

In the poll, taken by the automated firm SurveyUSA, Yarmuth was the choice of 53 percent of those surveyed, while former Rep. Anne Northup (R) was favored by 43 percent. The poll of 621 likely voters was taken July 18-20 and had a 4-point margin of error.

Although the gap between Yarmuth and Northup is greater than the 3-point spread Yarmuth won by last cycle, it still represents progress for the challenger. In the previous SurveyUSA poll on the race, taken six weeks earlier, Yarmuth had 57 percent and Northup had 40 percent. Northup’s greatest gains have been among white voters: Yarmuth had a 7-point lead among whites in the previous survey, but in the latest poll Northup led that group by 1 point.

While the Louisville district leans Democratic in presidential elections, Northup is a skillful campaigner and solid fundraiser, and the race is likely to be close once again.

Davis’ Lead in TV Poll Isn’t Overwhelming

Although his district is no longer considered the battleground that it was in the previous three cycles, Rep. Geoff Davis (R) had a solid but not overwhelming lead over his little-known Democratic challenger in a recent media poll.

According to a SurveyUSA poll taken for three TV stations in 4th district media markets, Davis was favored by 54 percent of voters while Oldham County physician Michael Kelley (D) was the choice of 41 percent.

The automated poll of 550 likely voters was taken June 28-30 and had a 4.2-point margin of error.

The Northern Kentucky district has seen hard-fought, expensive races in the past few election cycles. In 2002, Davis lost to then-Rep. Ken Lucas (D) by 3 points, but he won the seat two years later after Lucas retired. Lucas attempted a political comeback in 2006, only to lose to Davis by 9 points.

The 2008 campaign has been a much quieter affair. Davis reported $842,000 on hand as of June 30, on the strength of more than $1.7 million in money raised. Kelley had not even filed a campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission, so presumably he hadn’t crossed the $5,000 threshold in money raised.

“It’s a lot smaller gap than most people would have believed possible,” Kelley told PolitickerKY.com.