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Poll: McConnell Opens Up 8-Point Lead as Election Day Approaches

Late last week, the Bluegrass Poll showed Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with a 5-point lead over his Democratic rival, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Another poll released Saturday, one from a firm that pundits say typically favors Democrats, does not bode well for the Grimes campaign.

Public Policy Polling (PPP) has McConnell up eight points, 50-42, with the election just two days away. Libertarian candidate David Patterson polled at 3%, with most of his supporters (53%) leaning towards McConnell if Patterson were not in the field.

McConnell remains unpopular, with only 39% of voters approving of him to 50% who disapprove. But his campaign succeeded in making Grimes just as unpopular- her 39-49 favorability rating is nearly identical to his approval rating. For the millions and millions of dollars spent on this race it's ended up right back around where it started- when PPP first polled it in December of 2012 McConnell led Grimes by 7 and in this final poll he leads by 8, a news release from PPP said.

You can see the full results here (PDF).

Grimes rallied in Northern Kentucky and Lexington on Saturday with Hillary Clinton, days after being joined by President Bill Clinton, but the polls still show the 35-year old candidate trailing and the distance between her and the 30-year veteran of Washington, DC growing.

In April, PPP found Grimes leading McConnell 45-44. At that time Grimes led McConnell by 37 points with Democrats and trailed him by 2 points with independents. Now she leads him by 35 points with Democrats and by 2 points with independents, nearly identical numbers to what they were 7 months ago. The story of McConnell's comeback is one of getting his party to pretty universally vote for him, even if it's still not in love with him. In April McConnell led Grimes by only 49 points with Republicans, 69-20. Now he leads her by 76 points with Republicans, 85-9. His resurgence with the GOP is the story of the race, PPP said in a news release.

Other tidbits from the PPP poll show Governor Steve Beshear enjoying 50% approval and Senator Rand Paul at 43% approval with 36% disapproving.

-Staff report

File photos from Fancy Farm 2013