A new Lake Research Partners poll of Kentucky found Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes tied with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at 37% as McConnell job approval numbers hit new low.
The poll, which was done for Moveon.org found that McConnell has issues everywhere. McConnell has less strong support than Grimes (27%-29%), and 77% of undecided voters give him a negative job performance rating. When asked if they want to replace or reelect McConnell, 43% of respondents want to replace him and just 27% want to reelect him. McConnell’s favorability is drowning in the negative (52%-42%), and 68% of Kentucky voters gave him a negative job performance rating.
Sen. McConnell’s primary challenger doesn’t seem to pose any real threat. McConnell leads Matt Biven 50%-17%, but the incumbent is so unpopular that he will have to spend time, money, and resources guarding against the tea party backed primary challenger early in 2014.
What all of this means is that Sen. Mitch McConnell is weak, vulnerable, and in serious danger of losing his seat. Kentucky voters don’t like McConnell, or the job that he is doing in the Senate. McConnell may have done himself serious damage back home by supporting the government shutdown over the ACA.
Kentucky will be one of the states where Democrats can definitely run using the ACA as an asset. Kentucky’s health insurance exchange has been a huge success. It is possible that McConnell could pay a high price for opposing something nationally that is working well back home.
Grimes has a real chance to win McConnell’s seat. The polling data hasn’t moved in months. McConnell is extremely unpopular in Kentucky, and Grimes has a strong core of support in the state. None of this will be easy. Mitch McConnell has a mountain of cash in his war chest, and there will be millions upon millions of outside dollars flowing into the race on his behalf.
With McConnell’s numbers as bad as they are, this race is still tied. Grimes has been campaigning on her desire to put Kentucky first over national politics. Polling data makes it clear that voters in the state think that McConnell is neglecting the folks back home.
The polls point to McConnell’s run in the Senate coming to an end, but it is up to Alison Lundergan Grimes to convince the state’s voters that she is the change that they seek.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association