MEMO: KY-06 Polling Update

TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Corry Bliss, Executive Director
RE: KY-06 Polling Update: Defining Amy McGrath
DATE: September 7, 2018

Today brings bad news for one of the most touted Democratic candidates in the country—CLF’s early spending strategy is working. In KY-06, CLF has knocked on over 250,000 doors since January and began running digital and television ads on August 8th.

In the immediate aftermath of Amy McGrath’s upset primary victory, she had a favorable image (55%-16%) and few viewed her as a liberal. After the positive press attention and a primary that was entirely based on her biography, McGrath led Barr 51% to 38% in early June. According to polling from this week, that has changed dramatically. Today, Barr leads McGrath 49% to 45%. More importantly, McGrath’s image has gone from +39 to +11 and now 66% of voters see her as a liberal (compared to 39% in June).

CLF’s six ads over the course of the past month have highlighted McGrath’s liberal positions on immigration, taxes, liberal handouts, and the Iranian nuclear deal.

This dramatic turnaround should serve as an example to Republicans as to how to go on offense and win this cycle. Along with the Barr campaign, CLF has spent its time and money defining Amy McGrath as an out-of-touch Pelosi liberal—and the data shows it is working. In this environment, candidates who don’t win September won’t win on Election Day.

This remains a difficult environment for Republicans. However, Republicans can win by defining our opponents early and stopping Democrats from pretending to be Republicans—as soon as possible. If voters recognize that voting for Democrats means supporting the liberal Pelosi agenda in Washington, the Democrats will not win.

The polling memo from Fabrizio, Lee and Associates follows.


In a recently completed districtwide survey of likely 2018 voters in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District (survey methodology statement below), Fabrizio, Lee & Associates found Congressman Andy Barr pulling into a 49% – 45% lead over his opponent, Democrat Amy McGrath. This is a substantial shift from June, when McGrath held a 51% – 38% lead over Barr. Since June, McGrath has seen a significant deterioration in her image driving her fall on the ballot.

As voters have learned more about Amy McGrath, her positive image has plummeted. In June, McGrath’s image was 55% fav – 16% unfav, while it stands at 45% fav – 34% unfav currently, a net 28-point drop.

June Sep
Favorable 55 45
Unfavorable 16 34

The race, which showed the Democratic challenger with a large 13-point edge in June, now shows Barr in the lead by a 49% – 45% margin.

June Sep
Andy Barr 38 49
Amy McGrath 51 45
Undecided 11 6
NET BARR -13 +4

BOTTOM LINE: As KY-6 voters have learned about Amy McGrath’s liberal agenda and her ties to national Democrats, her image has declined, and Rep. Barr has surged into the lead.

METHODOLOGY STATEMENT: Fabrizio, Lee & Associates conducted a districtwide survey in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District of 400 likely 2018 general election voters via phone on September 4-6, 2018. Landline interviews accounted for 60% of the sample and cell phone interviews 40%. Geography was matched to past voter turnout in recent midterm elections. Gender, age, party registration, and race/ethnicity were matched to previous turnout models according to voter list data of known general election voters. Respondents were randomly selected from lists of known general election voters. The margin of error at the 95% confidence interval for 400 voters is ±4.9%. Trend data from a districtwide survey of 400 likely 2018 general election voters with the same methodology described above conducted June 6-7, 2018.