Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's popularity is lower than President Barack Obama in Kentucky and less than one-third of registered voters across the state hold a favorable view of the Republican lawmaker.
That's according to a new Bluegrass Poll conducted by the Louisville Courier-Journal, WHAS-TV, Lexington Herald Leader and WKYT-TV in Lexington, which was released Thursday evening.
The survey shows those waning approval numbers are having an effect on McConnell, who trails Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes by a 4-point margin.
From the C-J:
Sixty percent of Kentuckians said they disapprove of the jobs Obama and McConnell are doing, but they gave Obama a slightly higher approval rating — 34 percent to 32 percent for McConnell.
Just above one-quarter of Kentuckians have a favorable view of McConnell.
But Grimes is still relatively unknown to most voters, which gives the McConnell campaign room to define their would-be challenger. Still, Grimes is ahead among key demographics where she is leading among women by 12 points, moderates by 20 points and 18-to-34 year olds by nine.
The poll does find McConnell with a comfortable lead over GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin, however. McConnell leads his Tea Party-backed opponent by 55-29 margin
If there's any good news in the data for Bevin it's that 43 percent of conservatives say they do not approve of McConnell's job performance and one-third have an unfavorable view of the senator.
Grimes lead Bevin in a head-to-head election by five points.
UPDATE 10:56 p.m.:
"We're very comfortable about where this race stands and extremely confident that Senator McConnell will earn the votes of Kentuckians this fall," says McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore.
"The contrast between Mitch McConnell's conservative accomplishments for Kentucky and Alison Lundergan Grimes's alliance with President Obama's agenda of Obamacare and the war on coal will become very clear to everyone over the next nine months."
UPDATE 10:05 a.m. Friday:
"The Bluegrass Poll results mirror what our campaign sees as we travel across the Commonwealth: Kentuckians are ready for a United States Senator who will finally put people above partisanship," says Grimes campaign spokeswoman Charly Norton. "In the U.S. Senate, Alison Lundergan Grimes will be a champion for Kentucky's middle-class families."