Alison Lundergan Grimes Has a Small But Impressive Lead Over Mitch McConnell In New Poll



According to a new internal poll, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has a small lead over Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky 43%-42%.

The poll, conducted for the Grimes campaign by the Melman Group, found that the Democrat has more strong support than McConnell (35%-30%). Grimes leads Independents by ten points (40%-30%), and she leads by nine points with voters who know both candidates (50%-41%). Despite millions of dollars in negative advertising from McConnell and outside groups that are supporting him, Grimes has maintained a net positive personal favorability rating of (+5). Her personal favorable rating is 41%-36%. McConnell’s personal favorable rating is a net (-5), 42%-47%.

Mitch McConnell’s negative job approval rating continues to drag him down. Sixty-one percent of Kentucky voters gave McConnell a negative job approval rating. Only 32% of those polled hold a positive view of the job that he has done in the Senate. Alison Grimes has a net (-1) job approval rating of 38%-39%. The three phrases most associated with Mitch McConnell in respondents’ minds were “opposes raising the minimum wage,” “has been in office too long”, and “supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.” The two phrase most associated with Grimes were, “will work to create good jobs,” and “will protect Social Security and Medicare.”


Lundergan Grimes holds advantages in personal likeability, job approval, and pocketbook issues. The Democrat is structurally in a good spot to win this election. The one dynamic that could hurt the Grimes campaign will be if they contest the campaign on McConnell’s terms. Mitch McConnell can’t run on his record. McConnell can’t run on what he has done for Kentucky. The thirty-year incumbent has retreated to the last refuge of all embattled campaigns. He is trying to turn off voters by turning the election into a mudslinging contest.

The Grimes campaign has to walk the line between answering McConnell’s barrage of negative attacks while laying out a positive vision for the future of Kentucky. If they tilt too far into negative territory, they will play into McConnell’s hands by turning off voters and hurting turnout. Voters like a positive message and Alison Lundergan Grimes is only candidate in the Kentucky Senate race with a positive appeal to voters.

The internal poll should be taken with a grain of salt because it was conducted for the campaign, but its numbers are much closer to other polls than the NBC/Marist poll released on Sunday that showed McConnell with an eight-point lead. Marist has a decades long history of Republican leaning polls, so it isn’t a surprise that their poll could be an outlier.

Alison Grimes has a lot going in her favor as 2014 election heads to the homestretch. The Kentucky Senate race and perhaps control of the US Senate will probably end up depending on which candidate gets their supporters out on Election Day. The unavoidable conclusion is that Mitch McConnell is not only vulnerable, but Democrats have a golden opportunity to win.

29 Replies to “Alison Lundergan Grimes Has a Small But Impressive Lead Over Mitch McConnell In New Poll”

  1. I’m bringing five friends with me to vote. Democratic complacency and inaction are our biggest foes. Let McYertle think he’s ahead all he wants… the more his constituents believe it, the more likely they are to stay home and watch Family Feud instead of voting.

  2. Although I would vote for her if I lived in Kentucky I still have reservations about the way she disses Obama. My instinct tells me she will not be the changing force that we think or she claims.

  3. Let’s hope for a large Democrat turnout. I’d take a Mitch McConnell loss as an early Christmas present. The other would be sending my Governor, Corbett packing.

  4. Voting is a strategy, and the country is fighting for its LIFE. The idea is to keep the worst person out of office.

  5. 1. McConnell wants to make this referendum about Obama. If he can do that, he wins. It’s not working.
    2. McConnell wants to make the race about Obama because he is unpopular in the state. Obama polls around 30%. Guess what, so does McConnell.
    3. KYNECT/AHA/obamacare is WORKING. This hurts McConnell. You cannot repeal the AHA, but tell Kentuckians they can keep KYNECT- they’re the same thing.
    4. McConnell is being investigated.
    5. He had no new ideas. None of the GOP have new ideas.
    6. This is the first time McConnell has had such a yound, attractive, energetic person run against him. The others have all been older males, he knew how to attack them. That won’t work with Grimes. It looks like an old man is beating up on a young, energetic, female,and the GOP already have a female problem.
    7. McConnell is OLD! Compared to Grimes, he looks tired, old, with one foot in the grave.
    8. If Grimes makes this a referendum on McConnell, she wins. It’s working.

  6. This looks to be a bogus story. Real Clear Politics, which takes into account many polls, has McConnell up by 5 points right now. Grimes will lose because she does not “gee” and “haw” with the average Kentuckian.

    Also, I believe Kentuckians would be doubly foolish to give up a Senate Minority Leader for a rookie senator. She doesn’t have much to offer Kentuckians. I am not thrilled McConnell will win, but for the folks in my community he is definitely the lesser of two evils.

  7. This is the result of one poll as it notes. There are many polls. Saying one is bogus because it doesn’t agree with many polls is a tad bit ridiculous.

    McConnell is ok if you ignore the statements telling the koch he would do whatever he can to push their agenda and not YOUR agenda. Just ignore his 30 years of doing nothing for you and he is great

  8. McConnell has done a lot to keep our farm afloat through supporting good agricultural policies that limit subsidies and support the marketing of our grain on the free market. He has helped me, my family, and my neighbors.

    As for the Koch family, I don’t know and, quite frankly, I don’t care. I am one of his constituents who votes in Kentucky and he has earned mine…again.

  9. Oh, as for being ridiculous concerning polling data, if you have ever had a statistics course you would know that the more data that is available the more accurate the polling data is.

    I will stick with real clear politics, mainly because it used polling data from more liberal media outlets than conservative ones. The poll mentioned in this article is biased which calls to question it’s accuracy and validity.

  10. Joe, I worked in quality all my life. Statistics I can do.
    What you run from is the fact that there are polls in the RCP list that have Grimes ahead and polls that have McConnell ahead. You are comparing one poll to the average of many polls. Thats ridiculous.

    I am not disputing RCP, I am disputing comparing one poll to RCP and calling the one bogus.

  11. So, the other 4 polls that show the same information are bogus too? Because you found one poll that supported your hopes?

  12. The real problem with this poll is that it doesn’t include all of the ballot-listed options. Anyone in market research will tell you that excluding options creates skew.

  13. So McConnell has an upside down favorable rating but Kentucky looks poised to keep him in the senate. That would mean low approval and favorable ratings mean nothing. Reminds me of so called registered independents who claim they are “independent” even though they side with conservatives two-thirds of the time. Say one thing but do the opposite. Citizens of Kentucky if you have a unfavorable view of McConnell vote him out!

  14. Kentucky Joe, take it from an Ohio Joe that those funds to keep your farm afloat would NOT be available if not for the FEDERAL government, and not that old turtle you vote for. All states are eligible for those funds so don’t get the idea that Bitch McConnell is doing you ANY favors at all, the large corporate farms are the reason WHY you have to get subsidies and they get way more per acre than you. Turtle makes sure of that!

  15. Well to make a long story short the headline says an impressive lead. That is a clear overstatment.

    If McConnell is reelected there is apparently a reason that Kentuckians voted him in. He has helped us. We are not all toothless and shoeless idiots who are unable to identify the benefits that he brings to the table.

    As for the comments concerning funds from the “FEDERAL GOVERNMENT,” we have received $0.00 from the federal government. McConnell voted for a measure that increased international trade which boosted the price of grain (Corn to over $5 per bushel and Soybeans to over $12 per bushel).

    These commodity prices have fallen drastically because the precious President Obama was unable to tactfully handle the Russia/Ukraine fiasco and stopped selling grain to them thus decreasing demand. So let us starve them into submission while hurting the bottom line of American Farmers. That is always a good policy (please recognize the implied sarcasm).

  16. You really are not this stupid?
    As for the comments concerning funds from the “FEDERAL GOVERNMENT,” we have received $0.00 from the federal government.
    For every dollar Kentucky sends to Washington in federal taxes, it gets back between $1.51 and $1.82 in federal spending, depending on which study is consulted. Other states — mostly in the Northeast and Midwest — subsidize Kentucky by paying more in taxes than they get in return.

    Read more here:

  17. The bogus poll was the one saying Grimes was down by 8 points. If you believe Grimes lost ground in one week by 8 points, then you believe Palin has a Phd and the Easter Bunny.

    Real Clear Politics is not reliable. I learned that a long time ago. The best way to know if a poll is accurate or not is to follow the races closely. Anothee is to donate and become involved!

    The more involved voters are, the more educated they become. Educate yourself about the issues, the candidates. McConnell wants it both ways: on the one hand he wants to tout his 30 years in the Senate, but at the same time he runs from it.

    That’s why he won’t debate Grimes; he had too many skeletons in his office. Either McConnell is proud of his record, or he isn’t, which one is it?

  18. I was speaking of agricultural subsidies which I personally receive zero dollars. I do not receive any welfare, snap funds, or any other kind of subsidy.

    Many of the federal dollars that do come to Kentucky go directly to Eastern Kentucky where many people have lost their ability to make a living due to the coal policies put in place by President Obama and his cabinet.

    We do bring more dollars to Kentucky than what goes out. As a Kentuckian I would deem that to be a win on our part. We have excellent logistical infrastructure such as roads, rail, and river traffic. This extra money that comes to Kentucky has benefited the entire state.

    This infrastructure has brought companies such as UPS and FED Ex to Louisville, new Riverports along the Ohio River, and many miles of good quality interstate highways have made Kentucky a good location for logistical companies. You can reach 2/3rd of the U.S. from Louisville within an 8 hour drive.

    I thank you for your contribution.

  19. RCP can only be as accurate as the polls it includes in its averages. These include: NBC, CNN, Rasmussen, CBS, The Courier Journal, and others that we take to be fairly reliable.

    McConnell will win this election. Enough said.

  20. . “I thank you for your contribution” yes and if it wasn’t for the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT you wouldn’t have the great infrastructure Joe!! Your second paragraph is pure Bull$h)T!!! Those coal policies were in place before Obama and we DO need to get away from coal power.And you vote AGAINST the very people who are REALLY on your side and keep thieves like Turtle in power! You are one sad individual. And I noticed that you wont comment to me directly..typical rightie can’t handle reality.

  21. You are stupid
    •$3.79 billion in subsidies 1995-2012.
    $2.17 billion in commodity subsidies.
    $595 million in crop insurance subsidies.
    $736 million in conservation subsidies.
    $283 million in disaster subsidies.

    I am not calling you stupid for being ignorant I am calling you stupid because you are not on the gravy train while the very people you support are in the welfare line and you re not

  22. The only reason Kentuckians may vote McConnell back in office is because and they are misinformed and uneducated or they lucked up like you and inherited a farm and think they’ve made it on their own!

  23. Anything can happen, but Mitch M. most likely will win. I read somewhere he had a 93% plus chance of being re-elected. He has got some MAJOR power in DC; be a shame to lose that to a first year rookie. That being said, I think both parties, Democrats and Republicans alike, when you get to a certain level of power, they are ALL cut from the same cloth. They are not beholden to us, but to their special interest groups/MONEY and the conservative and liberal millionaire/billionaires who helped put them in power. I don’t trust ANY of them as far as I can throw ’em to be honest. One more thing however, the headline for this article is quite a bit of an overstatement and shows clear bias for ALG on their part, but it is all part of the game and both sides partake in it.

  24. Alison is doing what she needs to do to win the Senate. It’s called a strategy. Once in, she can change her tune, but first, she has to be elected.

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