Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has the edge over Democratic rival Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky's competitive Senate race, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.
The survey gives McConnell 44 percent to Grimes' 40 percent, with libertarian David Patterson taking 7 percent. In a head-to-head without Patterson, McConnell leads, 47 percent to 42 percent.
PPP previously polled on the race for Democratic groups including the Senate Majority PAC, Americans United for Change, MoveOn and the Americans For Tax Fairness Action Fund. Its most recent survey, in late June, gave Grimes 48 percent to McConnell's 46 percent.
"The main thing that's changed since then is McConnell seeing some consolidation in his base ... This is the first time PPP has looked at approval and favorability ratings for McConnell and Grimes since December, and although he remains unpopular McConnell's seen improvement on that front as well," pollster Tom Jensen wrote in the survey's release.
HuffPost Pollster's model, which includes all publicly available polling, gives McConnell just over 47 percent to Grimes' 45 percent.
The two latest nonpartisan polls on the race -- an automated/online SurveyUSA poll and an online CBS/New York Times/YouGov poll -- showed McConnell up 2 and 4 points, respectively. SurveyUSA's July results also showed McConnell's once-dismal approval rating improving, thanks largely to better numbers among his Republican base.
PPP surveyed 991 likely voters between Aug. 7 and Aug. 10, using automated phone calls for 80 percent of the interviews, and online questions for 20 percent.