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Poll: 'Aqua Buddha' Ad Backfires Against Jack Conway in Race Against Rand Paul

4 years ago
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Republican Rand Paul has opened a 53 percent to 40 percent lead over Democrat Jack Conway in the Senate race, with 7 percent undecided, according to a Public Policy Polling survey conducted Oct. 21-24.

PPP is now calling Paul the "likely victor" in the race and says the reason is the backlash from Conway's campaign ad saying that Paul, during his college days, worshipped a false god named "Aqua Buddha." Politics Daily correspondent Walter Shapiro wrote about the same voter reaction during his reporting travels in Kentucky.

PPP says 62 percent of voters said they had seen the ad and that 56 percent thought it was inappropriate. Forty-one percent of Conway's fellow Democrats agreed that it was inappropriate as did 68 percent of independents and 72 percent of Republicans.

Rand Paul and Aqua BuddhaVoters have turned negative on Conway, the state's attorney general, with 52 percent seeing him unfavorably compared to 39 percent who regard him favorably, with 9 percent undecided. Twenty-eight percent of Democrats view their candidate unfavorably and 63 percent of independents have an unfavorable view of him as well. Paul is seen favorably by 49 percent and unfavorably by 43 percent, with 8 percent undecided.

Paul also benefits from the fact that he has 84 percent backing from fellow Republicans compared to the 67 percent Conway gets from Democrats. Independents favor Paul by 66 percent to 27 percent, with 6 percent undecided. PPP says the "huge movement" by independents away from Conway and to Paul is making a difference in the race.

"Down by single digits until now, Jack Conway threw a Hail Mary with the 'Aqua Buddha' TV spot, and Rand Paul looks set to intercept it and return it for a touchdown next week," said PPP's Dean Debnam.

A separate poll by Fox News/Pulse Opinion Research conducted Oct. 23 put Paul ahead by 50 percent to 43 percent with 2 percent preferring some other candidate and 5 percent undecided. The margin of error is 3 points. Ten percent of voters in each candidate's camps say they could yet changed their minds. Paul is seen favorably by a 48 percent to 41 percent margin, with 11 percent undecided or saying they haven't heard of him. Fifty-one percent see Conway unfavorably, while 38 percent regard him favorably, with 11 percent undecided or saying they haven't heard of him.

Forty-three percent of voters say Paul shares their values while 39 percent say he does not, with 18 percent undecided. Forty-nine percent say Conway does not share their values while 30 percent say he does, with 22 percent undecided.

Forty-four percent say that they do not regard Paul as extreme. Conway has been trying to hang that label on Paul, and his Tea Party views. Forty-two percent said they do regard Paul's view as extreme, while 14 percent are undecided. On the flip side, 53 percent believe that Conway agrees too often with President Obama's policies, a perception that Paul has been trying to drive home.

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Maybe is is all backfiring because the people are tired of the negative campaign ads. This is all the liberal democrats have to stand on. They have been in office for the last 4 years.They have had total control of Washington for the last 2 years. They have no politician stance on the economy since they have done nothing for the last 2 years but managed to make things worse,place our economy on lock down(companies not hiring and people afraid to spend). They have worked around the problem instead of hitting head on. They spent almost 1 year on a healthcare bill that most do not want and most do not know of the hidden taxes buried in the 2000 pages.They attempted to push a cap and trade bill through using an oil spill as an excuse. They shut down oil drilling placing many more out of work. Do you really think someone out of work losing their home and almost starving gives a crap about cap and trade or if they have proper healthcare insurance. All they have done was throw money at a problem and watched to see if it worked. Now they have their backs against the wall and Obama runs around telling his supporters to defeat the enemy. What is he stating that people that disagree are the enemy.The president is suppose to work for unity and work with all Americans. I can see why he cries about the 41 republicans. I can just imagine what harsh words he had for them behind closed doors since they would not play nice. In 2008 I thought this man could do some good,now I can not wait until 2012. Not to mention I had considered to split this Novembers ticket due to some choices,but now I am voting straight republican and would do the same if Mickey Mouse was on the ticket just to send a strong message to Washington. I am a registered democrat almost ashamed to admit.

October 27 2010 at 9:04 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
John Vilvens

Conway could not stick to the issues, a liberal lady from another state wants to try and run down a canidate in Kentucky. She tried pushing her way thru the crowd but the liberals have the right to push other people. Conway tried make a college prank a major religious issue. Do you liberal think that kentucky people are not smart enought to see thru these tricks. Think again because they are smarter then you though.

October 27 2010 at 7:45 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Maybe Conway should debate the issues. Like his potential boss being anti business. Or where's the money coming from? Or how bout those illegals. Like the one Reid's aide married to help get into the US.

October 27 2010 at 12:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

This must be the place angry liberals come to vent. Ms Valle gave you what you needed, that was probably her mission. In the seventies during the war protests, outside agitators would be brought in to purposely provoke violent confrontations, and then the SDS could call the government Nazis. This tactic was developed by Obama’s bomb throwing buddies. Obviously you know nothing about history. A very good plan and Paul’s people fell into it. Unsophisticated, unlike the liberal name callers.

October 27 2010 at 12:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jim Nash

Let's see He got kicked out of Baylor. He takes Medicaid momey. but is not legally licensed to practice medicine. He's against the GM loan that brought thousands of jobs to Bowling Green. He's against OSHA mine safeguards. He's opposed to subsidies for tobacco farmers. He opposes the civil rights act. What is he for? Oh yeah. He wants to cut taxes, but doesn't know how. He shares the same simplistic mo as his daddy. Oh yeah. Ron Paul has the answer...pray to the Aqua Buddah

October 26 2010 at 9:11 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jim Nash's comment

You are a joke. 'Opposes the Civil Rights Act?' Even your Liberal buddies aren't deluded enough, OR CYNICAL enough, to make that claim. They know that anyone can easily google what Paul actually said, which was quite correctly a Libertarian stance, and nowhere near what you think you can trick people into believing what he said.

October 26 2010 at 11:38 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Rand Paul is being treated with kid gloves which does not surprise me as he behaves like a two-year-old

October 26 2010 at 7:19 PM Report abuse -11 rate up rate down Reply

why do this people fight so dirty when there is enough real and leagal things to say against a canadate when is dirty politics going to stop and we can go back to clean political races. why are we gong so far in the wrong direction.

October 26 2010 at 5:18 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply

I think that will change quite a bit after his goon squad threw a woman to the curb and stomped on her yesterday. And that Aqua Buddah thing was dumb but think about what he did at that time. He TIED A WOMAN UP. You all think that was "okay?" Sure he could have changed. But then again, maybe he hasn't. He's still for repealing Social Security, Medicare and the Civil Rights Act. He's just wrong for Kentucky and wrong for America. Period.

October 26 2010 at 4:09 PM Report abuse -20 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Margaret's comment

Apparently you think it is okay for his opponents to fling unsubstanitated accusations? Interesting. Regardless, clearly many, many believe Conway is the worse choice.

October 26 2010 at 4:31 PM Report abuse +18 rate up rate down Reply

All she wanted to do was give him an award. Sure it was a "joke" award, but it wasn't physically harmful in any way. She never attacked anyone or even verbally abused anyone. You think that warrants throwing her on the ground and stomping her? Seriously?

October 26 2010 at 4:51 PM Report abuse -15 rate up rate down Reply


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