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Poll: Rand Paul maintains lead in Kentucky

I've been hearing rumors of some slippage for Rand Paul's insurgent U.S. Senate campaign in Kentucky. One rumor had Trey Grayson, the secretary of state who's watched Paul build a substantial lead in some polls, up by 2 points.

But if there is momentum for Grayson, it's not borne out by SurveyUSA, the pollster that has done the most work on this race. Its latest poll has Paul maintaining a 15-point lead. (Caveat emptor -- this is a poll based on automated phone calls, a type of poll that tends to fall short of journalistic standards, so take all of the grains of salt required.)

The trendline, with last month's numbers in parentheses:

Rand Paul - 45 percent (+3)
Trey Grayson - 30 percent (+3)
Others - 6 percent (-5)

Neither candidate has benefited from the exit of businessman Bill Johnson, who'd been running third. But among "conservative" voters, Paul now has a 22-point lead. Among "pro-life" voters, Paul leads by 23 points, which is impressive when you consider how Grayson has tried to define Paul as a pro-choice candidate.

"[Grayson] is tied among non-gun owners and self-described liberal Republicans," said one of Paul's strategists to me. "These people will not be the motivated part of the base to turn out this cycle. What does Grayson have to hang his hat on?"

Required reading: Kate Zernike's write-up on the race, which reveals Paul's fondness for quoting Canadian rock demigods Rush.

The SurveyUSA poll follows.

Poll results for Kentucky's U.S. Senate primary

By David Weigel  |  April 12, 2010; 6:46 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , Libertarians , Ron Paul  
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Next: Last call

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