A WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll shows Republican Rand Paul with a 15-point lead over Democrat Jack Conway in the U.S. Senate race.

Paul leads in every geographic region of the state, but, according to WHAS, both sides think Paul’s lead–while still a lead, in line with other polls–may not be as large as indicated.

While neither Paul or his campaign staff expressed confidence in the poll’s 15 point margin, the candidate welcomed the poll as a sign that his fiscal conservative, Tea Party message is resonating.

“We’re excited about it.  Everywhere I go across Kentucky we think people are concerned about the debt,” Paul said, “They want somebody who will go up there and shake things up, somebody who will introduce a balanced budget amendment, somebody who’s for term limits, somebody who understands that the system’s broken.  We can’t just keep on spending and borrowing, spending and borrowing.”

Conversely, the Conway campaign says it believes that it’s effort to inform voters of Paul’s views on U.S. and local drug policy have narrowed the contest, rather than the widening Paul lead indicated in the poll.

“Recently, Rand Paul has made a lot of statements in opposition to combating drugs in our Kentucky communities,” Haley said, “and that has not caused him to surge in the polls.  We feel like this is, the poll is just simply inaccurate.”

“I think that in general, the media is not necessarily our friends,” Paul said when asked about the recent unflattering publicity, “And they’ve brought up a lot of things to try to skew the race one way or the other.”

Page One has this to say about Conway’s apparent weakness with independents and the lack of excitement among Democrats:

…the Conway Campaign is underestimating the Libertarian allure of Rand Paul, which draws out the independents and folks not aligned with a particular partisan bent. And the Conway folks are ignorantly ignoring the reality that Democrats are – more and more – finding reasons to stay home on November 2 because they aren’t being given a reason to support the Democratic nominee.

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