McConnell Inches to First Lead Over Challenger in Kentucky

Image: McConnell Inches to First Lead Over Challenger in Kentucky (Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Landov)

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 07:22 AM

By Cathy Burke

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has inched ahead to a 2 percentage point lead over Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, a new Bluegrass Poll shows.

The survey, conducted by Survey USA for The Courier-Journal, WHAS-TV, The Lexington Herald-Leader and Lexington's WKYT-TV, give McConnell 47 percent to Lundergan Grimes' 45 percent, USA Today reported.

It was the first time McConnell had a lead in a poll. The senator's lead is within the poll's margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.

McConnell's fortunes could easily change, the poll found. A quarter of registered voters who said they were backing one candidate said they could still change their minds before November.

Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst was still upbeat.

"After $30 million spent attacking us, we are going into Fancy Farm weekend tied," he told USA Today, referring to the state's election season kick-off event. "This is good news for us."

McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore pressed ahead with an attack on Grimes.

"She obviously can't convince Kentuckians that they should trade in Senator McConnell's record of accomplishments for another [President Barack] Obama vote in the Senate," she told USA Today.

Democratic political consultant Danny Briscoe told the newspaper though McConnell is out front, he still hasn't hit 50 percent.

"If an incumbent is under 50 percent, it's very troublesome," he said.

Though Grimes has declined in each Bluegrass Poll after starting ahead by 4 percentage points early in the year,  "It is so close and there is plenty of time to reverse that trend," Briscoe told USA Today.

"But it shows that Mitch McConnell's attacks are working and she's going to have to respond better than she has so far."

Related Stories:
Mitch McConnell's Tight Kentucky Senate Race Might Hinge on Turnout
Coal Group Slams Grimes Ad Attacking McConnell on Jobs


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