With 33 Days Until the Election Alison Lundergan Grimes Leads Mitch McConnell 42%-40%


grimes leads mcconnell in new kentucky poll

A new poll of Kentucky released today shows a very unpopular Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) trailing his Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in the Senate race 42%-40%.

The poll was conducted by the Mellman Group for the Grimes campaign, shows Grimes leading McConnell 42% to 40% with 3% supporting Libertarian David Patterson and 16% undecided. McConnell’s biggest problem remains that voters don’t like him. Sen. McConnell has a 58% negative job approval rating compared to 37% who approve. McConnell’s net is one of the lowest in the country at (-21). Despite a negative ad spending barrage of $40 million against her, Grimes job approval remains in positive territory. 40% approve of her, and 39% disapprove. Given the onslaught of negative ads that she has faced, her net approval rating of (+1) is remarkable.


Grimes gets more of her support from Democrats (75%) than McConnell gets from Republicans (73%). Alison Grimes also leads McConnell with Independents (38%-29%), and moderates (49%-27%). Grimes has a net 25 point lead on the question of who will work to create good jobs, a net 24 point lead on who will work to protect Social Security and Medicare, a 20 point lead on the important question of who cares about people like you, and a 10 point lead on the question of who shares your values.

Usually, internal polls should be taken with a gigantic grain of salt, but this one is important because it has the largest sample size and lowest margin of error of any poll conducted in Kentucky. The poll also surveyed registered voters, not people who consider themselves likely to vote.

The polling has been all over the map during the 2014 election because quite frankly there is a lot of bad polling out there. The NBC/Marist poll gave McConnell an eight-point lead, while a CNN poll had McConnell up by four. The problem is that both of these polls surveyed self-identified likely voters and got their data by randomly dialing phone numbers in the state. (You too could be a pollster if you just started calling people up and asking them if they are planning to vote, and who they are going to vote for.) Needless to say, this is terrible methodology that undergraduate statistics student would be able to spot the potential flaws in. Without a screened representative sample, the data could be unreliable, which is why the polling in the Senate races has been so contradictory.

When a poll is released that shows Mitch McConnell with a positive approval rating or leading with women, those are red flags. McConnell’s job approval has been in negative territory for nearly two years, and he has been unpopular with women for just as long. Thirty-year incumbents don’t suddenly get popular. The problem is that the media and the predictive models treat all polls as being equal, but this is also why they are likely to be wrong.

The reality is that Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mitch McConnell are in a close race. Democrats have more than a puncher’s chance of taking down McConnell. Sen. McConnell is refusing to debate Grimes for a reason. The McConnell campaign knows that the election is close, and they can’t afford to have their candidate share the stage the younger and more energetic Grimes.

McConnell is trying hide behind tens of millions of dollars in negative ads, but the strategy isn’t working. Alison Lundergan Grimes has a real chance to be Kentucky’s next senator.

27 Replies to “With 33 Days Until the Election Alison Lundergan Grimes Leads Mitch McConnell 42%-40%”

  1. Of course polling that is conducted using the white page listings of “likely voters*” is extremely accurate. Everyone knows if you’re a “likely voter*” you hang around your landline phone waiting for the pollsters to call.

    *likely voters = old white Republicans

  2. If the “Moderate” polling is truly indicative of voters in general, Grimes will be the next Senator from Kentucky.

  3. Grimes is going to win, but it will be close and like the Franken fiasco the lawsuits, injunctions, and court battles will keep her from being seated in congress for a few months. The GOP will do everything in it’s power to delegitimize the vote in hopes of overturning the will of the people. Hopefully, turtle will spend his ill-gotten money in the attempt and be forced to retire on a few measly million dollars.

  4. I really hope she unseats McConnell. He’s not only bad for his state, he’s really bad for the middle class and poor in the whole country. He’s nothing more than a puppet for the Koch brothers.

  5. Something the paid corporate media doesn’t want YOU to know…Just Vote make sure your legs are the poles that go to vote!

  6. If he is so unpopular,why is Grimes only leading by 2? I don’t understand why these Senate and Gubernatorial races are so close. Grimes should be ahead by 10 points or more.
    I have volunteered to work for Grimes campaign, and a grassroots organization. There is much to be done with only 33 days left til election day. McConnell won’t debate, yet he’s behind by a mere 2 points. Shameful, just shameful!

  7. I suspect the Kochsuckers will mount some kind of dirty tricks scheme to try to change those numbers. Even if the Repubs manage to take the Senate, it would be beautiful if Allison unseated Yertle.

  8. Look I would throw a BIG party if McConnell lost but I can’t take an internal paid for poll seriously at all. Get real people. My guess is that Alison is behind 4-5 points, not much but behind.

  9. UncaJoe you hit the nail on the head on your comment of “likely voters”. This is why I have been saying for years all of these so-called polls are skewed and bogus. It is also why I think this mid-term election will be a wave election in favor of the democrats.

  10. Shiva, the national polls tend to lean right. I trust internal polls by a Democrat than any by many of these pollsters. A the article states, they have been all over the place!
    Grimes will win, but by a narrow margine

  11. It’s great to hear Grimes is ahead. She’s been working this campaign for several years & was well into her campaign before McConnell perceived her to be a serious threat.

    Mitch is just another white, male, out-of-touch GOP career polician who assumed he’d be re-elected because he’s in a red state. While this may have been true in the past, the country has changed while he wasn’t paying attention. The GOP squandered any good will the people may have had for them through their constant barrage of insults to women & minorities & their unpopular policies.

    McConnell would be wise to note that Obama isn’t running for office & his constant negativity & ties to the Kochs will only hurt his chances. McConnell’s been in the senate so long he’s forgotten that he needs to prove he’s worthy of this seat. If he does squeek out a win, it will be the fight of his life.

    It still astounds me how close this race is given his & the GOP’s huge unpopularity…

  12. Don’t forget that the average working class Reichpublican votes against his/her own interests 99% of the time. Why? “Because it’s better than voting for the damn Democrats.” And because it’s common knowledge that Jesus hates Democrats.

  13. Because the people of Kentucky, just like the rest of America, are too lazy, apathetic and ignorant to WANT to vote for the right person. We are a nation of entitled imbeciles. Plus, the old white Republicans will party line vote EVERY election. Hitler could be reincarnated, run as a Republican and they’d vote for him, no matter what.

  14. I love all the celebration over an internal Dem poll put out to help Grimes’ lagging donations. Sorry, but I trust Nate Silver (likely another corporate hack or Koch lover in your eyes) who puts McConnell’s reelection at over 84%. But I and the GOP wholly encourage you to send your money and spend your time helping Grimes. http://fivethirtyeight.com/interactives/senate-forecast/

  15. Grimes has no chance at winning and putting out bogus internal polling won’t change that. See what Nate Silver says.

  16. Because Nate Silver is a turtle troll. Got it.

    Can you please, please get yourself into a power position a Dem campaign somewhere? It’s usually the Republicans who shoot ourselves with people in campaigns that are more ideological than practical. Would love to see the Dems make the same mistake.

  17. No one said that and I see your homeschooling has paid off in comprehension. What I said like all RETHUG TROLLS you people read from a script saying the same things over and over again. Like always not one of you have an original thought. How much is the turtle paying you?

  18. Wow, aren’t you open-minded? I must be homeschooled presumably because I’m a conservative. Stereotype much?

  19. GTFOH with your projection. Since 2008 we have heard your racist dog whistles. So don’t bring your bullshit about open-mindedness in here. And yes, Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

  20. I have a simple true or false quiz for you
    1) The ACA has lowers the deficit and health care cost
    2) The economy does better under Democratic administrations
    3)Reagan never raised taxes
    4.Bush never signed a SOFA with Iraq
    5)The middle class saw its greatest growth with low tax rates
    6) Jesus rode with the dinosaurs

  21. I wish this were true, but it’s just not. If the pollster has any idea what they’re doing, the sample sizes and cluster demographics will weed out the likelihood of skewing the poll due to “Republicans waiting by the phone.” (And the Mellman Group aren’t bad pollsters.)

    The closer a campaign gets to election day, the more likely voter polls matter. Registered voter polls (like this one) traditional skew towards Democrats because Republicans on average have a much higher vote propensity, so the people who don’t show up are normally people who would have voted Democratic.

    So while I wish this poll had better news, despite the somewhat misleading title — having a two-point lead in a registered voter Democratic poll (from a pollster that’s not bad, but generally gives Democrats a +1.6% edge in their polling), virtually guarantees that she’s still down by a decent percentage with likely voters. And those are the people who are going to turn out unless something changes.

  22. My personal ‘Mantra’ has always been:
    “Beware of Poll numbers and the Complacency they can instill, if they seem to be ‘going your way'”…..

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