-Only 35% of Kentucky voters think Rand Paul should run for President, compared to 49% who think he should sit it out. But he'd still be a favorite in both the primary and general elections in the state.
34% of GOP primary voters say he'd be their top choice to 20% for Jeb Bush, 12% Chris Christie, 7% Ted Cruz, 5% each for Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, 3% for Bobby Jindal, and 2% each for Rick Santorum and Scott Walker. Paul's standing is pretty similar to the 31% he had in April. He's particularly strong with voters identifying as 'very conservative,' where he gets 43% to 16% for Bush. The big mover since the spring has been Rubio, who's declined from 17% on our last poll down all the way now to 5%.
Paul is also the strongest Republican for the general election in Kentucky, leading Hillary Clinton by 6 points at 49/43. Bush and Christie both lead Clinton by 4 points at 46/42 and 44/40 respectively. Ted Cruz actually trails Clinton 44/41 in the state, a good data point for how weak he is. Clinton does far better than Barack Obama did in all of these match ups, even if winning the state still seems like a long shot.
-Paul has a decent 49/40 approval rating but Kentucky's most popular politician is its Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, who comes in at 51/33. Speaking to the difficulty Democrats have in federal races in Kentucky though, Paul would lead Beshear 49/42 in a hypothetical contest despite Beshear's greater popularity. In a rematch of their 2010 contest Paul would lead Jack Conway by the same 12 point margin of victory he attained last time around, 50/38. Half way through his first term Paul's in pretty decent shape for getting another.
-Kentucky's been getting more and more Republican in national elections and at least at this early stage we're starting to see some evidence that could bleed down to the state level as well. Right now voters generically say they want their next Governor to be a Republican by a 44/37 margin. And they also say they'd vote GOP if there was a legislative election today, 44/36.
-Louisville may have won the national championship in basketball last year but there aren't a lot of fans jumping on the bandwagon. 63% of voters in the state consider themselves to be Kentucky fans, compared to only 20% for the Cardinals. Those numbers aren't a whole lot different from last year when Kentucky won out 66/17. Fans of both schools are pretty happy with the job their coaches are doing. For Louisville Rick Pitino has an 88/5 approval rating and Charlie Strong's is 66/8. For Kentucky John Calipari has a 76/8 approval rating and even after a rough first season fans are mostly happy with Mark Stoops, giving him a 42/13 spread.
-Finally there's been absolutely no shift in NFL loyalties over the last year. 25% of voters in the state say they're Bengals fans to 11% for the Cowboys, both figures identical to what we found last December. They're followed by the Packers and Colts at 8%, Bears at 7%, Steelers and Titans at 6%, and Rams at 1%.
Full results here