Mitch McConnell, the Republican senator from Kentucky and Senate minority leader, is tied with the leading Democratic candidate, secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes, in the race, according to a new poll from Rasmussen Reports. McConnell's Republican primary challenger Matt Bevin, meanwhile, leads Grimes by four points.

Rasmussen's poll of likely voters in Kentucky found 42 percent would vote for McConnell and Grimes each if the two faced each other this November. If Bevin defeated McConnell in the primary and went on to run against Grimes, the poll found, 40 percent would support Bevin and 34 percent would support Grimes. Here's more from Rasmussen Reports:

In his matchup with Grimes, McConnell, a member of the U.S. Senate since 1985, picks up 76% of the Republican vote. Bevin earns 70% GOP support when he’s pitted against the leading Democratic contender. Both parties will pick their Senate nominee in a May 6 primary. [Note: the primary is actually on May 20.]

McConnell was reelected in 2008 with 53% of the vote but has come under fire from Tea Party Republicans who feel he hasn’t done enough to fight President Obama’s big government agenda. Bevin, a businessman, is his leading Tea Party challenger. Democrats are also rallying enthusiastically around Grimes, currently Kentucky’s secretary of state, in hopes of knocking off one of the top Republican congressional leaders.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Kentucky voters prefer a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes over a more active government with more services and higher taxes. Just 23% favor a larger government instead. There’s more support for smaller government in Kentucky than there is among voters nationally.

Among voters who prefer larger government, Grimes earns 88% support against McConnell and 76% of the vote against Bevin. The larger group that favors smaller government gives 60% support to McConnell and 56% to Bevin.

Other polls of the race over the last year have shown McConnell leading Grimes by single digits.
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