Skip to comments.Kentucky poll: Mitch McConnell now trails Democratic challenger by four points in Senate bid
Posted on 02/07/2014 2:49:00 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Each of the five polls taken since December have had the race tight, but this is the first one showing Alison Lundergan Grimes in the lead. Noise or omen?
I know what you’re thinking, but don’t celebrate just yet.
“This is not going to be a coast for Mitch McConnell,” said pollster Jay Leve of Survey USA. “It’s going to be a dogfight. Every vote is going to matter. This election is going to have national consequences. We’re going to see a lot of money from outside interests flow into Kentucky.”…
Sixty percent of likely voters in the Bluegrass Poll disapprove of McConnell’s job performance, matching President Barack Obama’s sixty percent disapproval rating in Kentucky…
Among likely voters, McConnell and Grimes have virtually identical favorability ratings in the poll, 27 percent for McConnell and 26 percent for Grimes.
But McConnell’s 50 percent unfavorability rating is nearly twice Grimes’ 27 percent unfavorability rating.
A 27/50 favorability rating is not the stuff of which reelection is made. That means Matt Bevin’s the obvious choice on electability grounds in the GOP primary, right? He’s doing about as well as McConnell is against Grimes right now, trailing by just five points. One recent poll from Rasmussen even had him outperforming McConnell head to head with the Democrat.
Maybe not. Survey USA has McConnell leading Bevin in the primary by 26 points, 55/29. Why? Because, while McConnell may be toxic to Democrats and independents, he’s still above water within his own party. Among Republicans, his job approval is net positive at 51/41 while his favorable rating is 46/30. Even more interesting, when you ask Kentucky GOPers if McConnell compromises too much, too little, or just the right amount with Democrats, they split 35/20/32, i.e., there’s a clear majority who either approve of his dealmaking or wish he would do more, a mild surprise among a base that nominated Rand Paul four years ago. The knock on him from grassroots righties is that he’s the RINO di tutti RINOs but, if you believe Survey USA, Kentucky Republicans aren’t seeing it.
Bevin’s numbers on the “compromise” question, incidentally, are 19/16/22, but it’s hard to draw firm lessons about him from that given that he’s still unknown to so many voters (when asked whether they view Bevin favorably or unfavorably, fully 64 percent of GOPers either said “neutral” or “no opinion”). Right now, as is always true of a tea-party challenger in the early stages, he’s more “Republican who isn’t the incumbent I dislike” than he is a candidate with discrete views of his own. What happens, though, once voters realize he’s running to McConnell’s right? In theory, the fact that even Republican voters prefer compromise would hurt him; Bevin himself is sufficiently worried about that that he took care to denounce the government shutdown last October (sort of) to put voters at ease. On the other hand, he’s posted photos of himself attending Bircher events, which is … not so compromise-y. He’s trying to find the sweet spot between being conservative enough to get tea partiers psyched to turn out in the primary and swamp the moderates backing McConnell and not so conservative that it’s easy for Grimes to demagogue him if he makes it to the general. Not easy, but Rubio was facing the same problem against Crist four years ago and you know how that turned out.
By the way, keep an eye on the proxy war that’s brewing here between the Clintons and Rand Paul, who’s taken to calling Bill a “sexual predator” lately. Grimes is bringing Bill Clinton to Kentucky to try to seize the electoral middle ground, in the expectation that McConnell and Bevin will spend the next few months tacking right for the primary. McConnell will, at some point, bring in his pal Rand to go to bat for him, whether in the primary or the general. Will Monica Lewinsky be name-checked before November? Fingers crossed.
Do KY primaries require 50% to win the party nomination without a runoff?
I do not like McConnell but it is never GOOD when a Democrat takes another senate seat.
He is trailing a DEMOCRAT !!
Does this Democrat support Obamacare? If he does and he wins, that’s one vote less for repeal.
Looks like the GOP-E and their candidate, McConnell, are about to cost the Republicans a Senate seat. McConnell should withdraw and support Matt Bevin, for the good of the party, the country and the children.
Bevin sure seems like a really nice guy, has a really nice family, adopts kids, etc.
Do we need a really nice guy or someone that will take on the left not so nicely?
I’m tired of the do-gooders like Bush. I wish there was someone else to take McConnell out.
No, KY has never had runoffs; it’s a plurality nomination, but I don’t think there is a third candidate in the Republican Senate primary.
I think there is little question he is JUST about toast. The question is, can he be beaten in the Primary.
I would never vote for, nor would I ever encourage anyone else voting for a Democrat for anything, but......good!
Yeah because the republicans holding senate seats are doing such a bang up job.
Uh, no it isn't. I wouldn't count McConnell as a vote for repeal either.
Well, okay.....he'll "vote for repeal" but only after he votes for a cloture to allow a BS bill for a vote that he knows will screw the people. Or he'll vote against cloture to avoid voting yay/nay on a repeal bill.
They whip count and allow liberal pubbies to vote yay/nay depending on who needs political cover at the time. In the end the public takes it in the shorts.
He just hopes the public is too stupid to notice......or that they enjoy their $2Billion dam that was thrown in to sweeten his deal on the government shutdown during his yay cloture/nay bill vote, knowing the Stupid Party (R) couldn't stop it after the cloture vote.
Remember, McConnell was the one that said the TEA Party needs a "punch in the nose." He's no conservative. He's a liberal in liberal-lite clothing.
About 95% of the incumbents in office need to go; I'm being generous at only 95%
bush was no do-gooder.He was a back stabbing sumbitch who gave us Obama.
DO NOT jump all over me for saying this. I am only repeating what I heard.
McConnell was on Hugh Hewitt’s show last night. Hewitt said that he doesn’t believe the polling. He doesn’t believe that Kentucky would vote for Grimes because of her support for Obamacare.
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The poll gave Obama a higher approval rating at 34% to 32% for McConnell.
He needs to go!
Kentucky Republicans, what are you doing! This moron is going to lose! VOTE FOR BEVIN!
McC withdrawing to support Bevin is the last thing that would ever happen. Now he could endorse Grimes over Bevin if such a contest ever materializes.
Come on, Kentucky. Right now, Arizona voters own the trophy for the most gullible for re-electing John McCain. Utah is a close second for re-electing Orin Hatch. TX and KY are neck and neck for the next award with Cornyn and McConnell.
Sound and fury amounting to nothing. The kentucky doughboy will retire just before the primary. He probably has the drapes for his K street office measured already.
Q: So why is he bothering to stay in at this point?
A: Follow the money.