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GOP poll: Aqua Buddha backfired

Rand Paul's (R) campaign team has polled Jack Conway's (D) "Aqua Buddha" TV, and it suggests that the Conway ad has backfired on the Democrat.

Per the Paul poll that First Read obtained, more than 80% of Kentucky voters said they have heard of the Conway ad, which says that Paul belonged to a secret society while in college that called the Bible a "hoax," and that he allegedly tied up a woman and made her bow down to the god "Aqua Buddha."

Nearly 70% said the ad went too far, versus 31% who said it raised valid questions.

And get this: 45% of Kentucky voters (including 70% of Republicans, 53% of independents, and nearly 25% of Democrats) said the ad would make them more likely to vote for Paul. That's compared with 26% (40% of Democrats, 19% of independents, and 9% of Republicans) who said it made them less likely to vote for him.

The poll was conducted Oct. 21 of 1,200 Kentucky voters.

*** UPDATE *** The Conway camp is furiously pushing back against the poll, alleging that it was conducted at a Paul tele-town hall, which would make the poll suspect. In fact, the Conway camp played -- over the phone -- audio of that tele-town hall, in which a questioner asks about being "outraged" by the Aqua Buddha ad.

But the GOP source who emailed First Read the poll maintains that the survey in question wasn't part of the tele-town hall. "The poll is in no way associated with the tele-town hall last night." More from the source: "I can't believe their spin was that we leaked a tele-town hall poll. That's hilarious." And the source sends this poll's information:

Statewide telephone survey conducted October 21, 2010 - sample 1200 Telephone survey conducted Oct. 21, 2010 - Margin of error +/- 2.95 percentage points.
Pollster: Fritz Wenzel

*** UPDATE II *** Conway spokesman John Collins responds: "This poll is as laughable as Paul's tirade over whether he should answer questions about his own actions. Instead of making up data, Paul should try something he's never done - face the voters and answer questions."