Mitch McConnell has already spent $30 million to try to keep his Senate seat, but a new Bluegrass Poll found that he remained tied with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
The Bluegrass poll revealed that McConnell has a two point lead over Grimes 47%-45%, but that is well within the poll’s 4.1% margin of error. This means that the race remains tied. McConnell led with men 49%-43%, and Grimes led with women 47%-46%. McConnell had a five point advantage with younger voters 49%-44%. Grimes led with voters age 35-49 (44%-42%) and age 50-64 (50%-45%). As expected, Sen. McConnell led with voters age 65+ (54%-40). McConnell led with white voters 48%-44%, and Grimes led with African-American voters 64%-27%. Among voters who have made up their minds, McConnell led 51%-48%, and with those who might still change their minds McConnell had a 42%-37% advantage. Grimes had big leads with Democrats (74%-20%) and Independents (50%-33%), but McConnell gets almost all the Republican support 82%-13%.
The Grimes campaign expressed happiness with the poll results, “Our grassroots campaign remains in a strong position as yet another poll shows us tied or within the margin of error. Mitch McConnell and his Washington cronies have spent $30 million on a tie, and we remain well-positioned to use our multi-million dollar war chest to hold McConnell accountable for his 30-year Washington record through Election Day.”
The poll contains plenty of encouraging signs for Lundergan Grimes, but it also shows the built in difficulty of running against a 30 year Republican incumbent in a red state. McConnell has a lot of built in advantages, and his spending of tens of millions of dollars already is the likely reason why he is as close as he is. McConnell is going to keep spending from now until Election Day, so it is essential from Grimes to expand her campaign as much as possible to keep her supporters energized.
A potential problem for Grimes is that McConnell gets more Democratic support (20%) than she gets Republican support (13%), but those numbers may shift as the general election campaign heats up. Democrats are still in an excellent position to send Mitch McConnell into retirement, but with less than 100 days until Election Day, Alison Lundergan Grimes has a great chance to pick up a Senate seat for Democrats.