A new poll of Kentucky voters shows Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell with a slight edge over two potential Democratic challengers in a 2014 match-up.
The Ohio-based firm Wenzel Strategies conducted the survey and released the results on Tuesday. It gives McConnell a 7-point lead over Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is considered the top contender.
Those are very different results when compared to a Public Policy Polling survey that had McConnell and Grimes tied last week. McConnell’s re-election campaign raked the PPP survey for what it called “laughable poll questions,” saying it should be dismissed.
In a head-to-head contest with Grimes, Wenzel found McConnell receives 46 percent of the vote compared to 39 percent for the secretary of state, who has still not indicated whether she is running for U.S. Senate in 2014.
The same survey finds McConnell leading former Miss America Heather French Henry by just a 5-point margin, however. In that mock race, Henry, who is also mulling a possible candidacy, fairs slightly better than Grimes at 40 percent of the vote compared to 45 percent for McConnell.
In both situations, about 13 percent of voters are undecided.
Democrats are likely to criticize the survey as Republican-leaning poll that showed Todd Akin with a lead over Sen. Claire McCaskill in the Missouri contest last year. Wenzel also gave McConnell a higher approval rating of 54 percent than most polls, but it does show the GOP leader’s disapproval numbers are at 44 percent.
The Wenzel poll had a 4 percent margin of error and also looked at a potential contest between McConnell and environmental lawyer Tom FitzGerald, and shows the incumbent leading by 17 points.