The bad news keeps coming for Mitch McConnell. The latest Herald-Leader/WKYT Bluegrass Poll revealed that President Obama is now more popular in Kentucky than Sen. McConnell.
The Herald-Leader/WKYT Bluegrass Poll found that while McConnell and Obama each have 60% unfavorable ratings, President Obama’s favorable rating in Kentucky is two points higher than McConnell’s. Obama has a 34% favorable rating. McConnell has a 32% favorable rating. Obama is more popular than McConnell in a state where he lost to John McCain by 16 points (57%-41%) in 2008, and he lost to Mitt Romney by 23 points (60%-37%) in 2012.
Sen. McConnell is unpopular across the board in the state, but he has a big problem with his fellow Republicans. Believe it or not, 33% of Kentucky Republicans said that they disapprove of McConnell because he compromises with President Obama too much. Forty four percent of conservative Republicans said that McConnell compromises with Obama too much.
The upside for McConnell’s Democratic opponent Alison Grimes is that the Senate Republican leader is very unpopular. The downside is that McConnell seems to be unpopular with many in Kentucky who view him as not conservative enough. These voters simply will not vote for Grimes, or any other Democrat. They are either going to vote for McConnell, or not vote at all.
Make no mistake about it, when President Obama is more popular that McConnell in his own home state, Mitch has big problems. These numbers do help to explain why McConnell keeps blocking the extension of unemployment benefits. To the hardcore Kentucky conservatives who McConnell needs in order to keep his seat, an extension of unemployment benefits would be another compromise with President Obama.
In other words, if McConnell wants to keep his Senate seat, he has to destroy the lives of 1.7 million Americans. McConnell is in serious danger of losing his seat, but it is going to be a very close and tough election. Grimes leads by 4 in this poll, but it is clear that her advantage is based on disapproval of McConnell.
What can’t be denied is that things have gotten so bad for McConnell that President Obama is now more popular than he is in deep red Kentucky.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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