Serious Challenger To Mitch McConnell Emerges In Kentucky’s Senate Race
Speculation has swirled in the mainstream media and on the Internet about the Kentucky Senate race. Who will be the Democratic candidate to run against 5 term incumbent Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader?
There is a new development underway. The grassroots and the Democratic Party are coming together behind Alison Lundergan Grimes. Up top and on the bottom of the page are two video highlights from Alison’s successful 2011 statewide campaign.
Kentucky Democrats are increasingly voicing their belief that while the possible candidates Ashley Judd and Alison Lundergan Grimes both share progressive values, Grimes has the capability to better withstand public scrutiny. Alison is an outspoken and intelligent attorney from Lexington, who supports an economy for the middle class and who is known to run an aggressive ground game capable of turning out the moderate Kentucky Democratic base.
Democrats are excited because Alison won a landslide election against a tea partier in 2011 for Secretary of State with 60.6% of the vote. Kentucky’s popular Governor Steve Beshear easily won reelection with 464,245 votes, yet on the same day, Alison received the support of 30,000 more Kentuckians with a total of 494,368 votes.
Kentucky is home to Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, but has consistently supported Democrats locally and statewide for state, rather than for federal, government. McConnell narrowly escaped defeat in 2008, and with his continued slide in the polls, he is now vulnerable.
Mitch McConnell is the most unpopular Senator in the country. Only 37% of Kentucky voters approve of him to 55% disapprove. Both in terms of raw disapproval (55%) and net approval (-18) McConnell has the worst numbers of any of his peers, taking that mantle from Nebraska's Ben Nelson.Alison’s path to victory lies in her ability to attract all stripes of Democrats without turning off the moderate swing voters and independents who are the key to statewide elections. Alison may have a rabbit in her hat. Alison’s family led President Bill Clinton’s and Hillary Clinton’s campaign efforts in Kentucky and in the process, the Clintons became family friends. Alison will likely have top-tier support from the Clintons perhaps in part because Hillary Clinton will look to win moderate Southern states like Kentucky in 2016.
McConnell is predictably very unpopular with Democrats (23/73). But his numbers are almost as bad with independents (33/58) and even with Republicans he's well below the 70-80% approval range you would usually expect for a Senator within their own party (59/28).
Kentucky is known for great moderate politicians like Henry Clay, Alben Barkley, and Wendell Ford. It is also known for authority-challenging wild cards like Hunter S. Thompson, Gatewood Galbraith, and Johnny Depp. Unfortunately, it is also known for two downright atrocious Republican Senators. In 2014, the Senate race may once again put a serious Kentucky politician on the national map.
Alison Lundergan Grimes has yet to announce her candidacy for Senate. If you want to encourage her to run, you can like the Draft Alison Lundergan Grimes Facebook group.