What looked like it could be an anomaly is beginning to look like a real thing in Kentucky. The Democratic challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Alison Lundergan Grimes, is leading in a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) by 2 points, on the heels of McConnell’s primary win. That’s right — if this is McConnell’s post-primary bump, he’s in trouble.
The poll contains a flood of bad news for McConnell. Eighty-nine percent of respondents are more likely to vote for a candidate who will pass legislation to create jobs. By an 80%-14% margin, voters (including 70% of Republicans) want a candidate that will close tax loopholes on millionaires. Seventy-eight percent of voters want a candidate who will end gridlock and partisanship. Seventy-six percent want a candidate that will make sure that the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes, and by a margin of 63%-31% voters oppose cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations.
Mitch McConnell opposes everything that Kentucky voters said they supported in the paragraph above. What’s even worse for McConnell is that voters strongly oppose what he supports. McConnell has been a vocal supporter of tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. McConnell has personally blocked a wide range of job creation bills in the Senate, and he has publicly admitted that he is using gridlock as a strategy to destroy the Obama presidency.
“Grimes leads by a substantial margin among independents with 56% to McConnell’s 30%,” the PPP analyst noted. That’s a pretty big indictment of the incumbent Senator. But then, when 40% of his own party voted against him in the primary, the one narrative that was clearly intrenched was that Kentucky voters are sick of Mitch McConnell and his belief that creating jobs for Kentuckians isn’t his job. That gets old, especially when times are tough and in a state whose main industry has taken a hit.
The PPP analysis of what Kentuckians cared about showed marked support for what Democrats are championing in terms of making millionaires and corporations do their part, “(T)hey want to make sure that millionaires pay their fair share and do not get a lower tax rate than the middle class, and they want to close corporate tax loopholes, especially for shipping jobs overseas.”
And this is made all the more real and painful because PPP is a “liberal-leaning” pollster. And we all know that reality has a thing for liberals these days. Yes, that’s right. While other pollsters were unskewing themselves to show a horse race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in 2012, PPP was found the most accurate after they “projected a 2-point Obama victory and put him at the critical 50 percent mark, 50 to 48 percent over Romney.”
After 30 years of listening to Mitch McConnell blame others for his own failures while lining his own pockets, Kentucky voters seem to be over Mitch McConnell. And it doesn’t help the incumbent that his Democratic opponent is strong, smart, and a known quantity in Kentucky. The cheap smears the McConnell people have been aiming at Grimes aren’t sticking.
With Republicans poised once again to waste the American taxpayers’ hard earned money with yet another frivolous lawsuit against a Democratic president, laying the groundwork for even more egregious impeachment proceedings, all voters who care about things like jobs and infrastructure need to make a concerted effort to tell Republicans “enough of the clownshow.”
The only way to be heard by this crowd who pretend to speak for the average American whilst refusing to pass a jobs bill is to vote. VOTE.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.