NEWS RELEASE - April 5, 2018
NOTE: Mellman Group Polling Memo LINK BELOW
Momentum grows as Gray posts strong fundraising, polling numbers
Campaign raised more than $790,000 in first quarter as poll shows a substantial primary lead
Lexington, KY -- With less than seven weeks until the May 22 Democratic primary, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is in a strong position to win the Democratic nomination and defeat Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr this fall. Gray's campaign announced Thursday that the campaign has raised more than $1.13 million since the campaign began in December, and an internal poll shows Gray leading his closest Democratic opponent by 33 percentage points.
Gray closed the first fundraising quarter of the year by raising more than $793,000 dollars. When combined with what the campaign raised in December, Gray has raised more than $1.13 million and enjoys a balance of more than $825,000 in cash on hand. More than 70 percent of Gray's contributions have come from Kentuckians.
Gray's fundraising totals ensure that the campaign will have the resources necessary to compete in both the primary and the general election. While Gray is not taking a single vote for granted, the campaign was pleased to see that internal polling, conducted by well-regarded Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, showing Gray leading his closest Democratic opponent by 33 percentage points.
The poll, conducted in early March among likely Democratic primary voters, makes clear that Gray, a two-term mayor and longtime Central Kentucky businessman, is both well-known and well-liked within the district. Gray is viewed favorably by 77 percent of Democratic primary voter and enjoys a 74 percent job approval rating for the work he has done in Lexington.
These numbers demonstrate that Gray continues to enjoy the widespread support that helped him win the 6th Congressional District when he ran against U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in 2016 in a challenging environment for Democrats.
In the primary race, Jim leads the field of Democrats with 52 percent support among likely primary voters, compared to 19 percent for challenger Amy McGrath and 6 percent for state Sen. Reggie Thomas. Twenty-three percent of voters are undecided.
"Mayor Gray is the clear frontrunner in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District Democratic primary," Mellman said. "He is widely known among primary voters and enjoys an image that would make most elected officials envious. Given the mayor's standing, his opponents will likely wage a scorched-earth negative campaign to catch up, but even that effort will almost certainly fail to take the nomination from Gray."
Despite the encouraging numbers, the Gray campaign will continue to work hard for each and every vote in the district. As Jim likes to say, "when you're ahead, you have to run like you're 10 points behind."
"I'm thrilled with what we are seeing both in these numbers and out on the campaign trail," said Jamie Emmons, Gray's campaign manager. "But we still have a lot of work to do to send Jim to Washington so he can fight for access to quality healthcare and affordable education."
Mellman Group Polling Memo: 18mem405-d8 KY-06 primary