Tags: US | Kentucky Debate

Kentucky Senate Rivals Hold Solitary Debate

Monday, 13 October 2014 03:47 PM

Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes hoped to rekindle her early campaign momentum and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell looked for the answer to a politically charged question Monday night in the only debate of a close and costly race for a Senate seat from Kentucky.

The hour-long encounter coincided with a campaign stretch in which Grimes has repeatedly declined to say if she voted for President Barack Obama in 2012, a subject that seemed all-but-certain to come up.

The president is highly unpopular in the state, and Grimes has spent months and millions in advertising money trying to establish her political independence from him.

McConnell, whose own poll ratings are poor after 30 years in office, has worked nonstop to cast his rival as a certain ally of the administration if she captures the Senate seat.

The race is one of several that will determine whether Republicans capture a Senate majority in mid-term elections. They need to pick up six seats to prevail, and a GOP triumph would all-but-certainly make McConnell the new majority leader, with the power to set the Senate's legislative agenda during the last two years of Obama's presidency.

The race is one of the most expensive in the country, with millions of dollars in television commercials aired by the candidates, their parties and allies focused on Senate races nationally. McConnell also has benefited from about $20 million in advertisements from a pair of organizations set up by former aides and associates solely to re-elect him to a sixth term.

Grimes, 35, was recruited by the Democratic party nationally to run, and got off to a fast start while McConnell, 72, was bogged down in a costly primary race with tea party rival Matt Bevin.

Grimes and McConnell both won their primaries with ease in mid-May, at a time the Democratic challenger was ahead in most if not all of the public polls. She soon came under a withering barrage of televised attacks, though. In recent weeks, her favorability has eroded in public surveys, many of which show McConnell with a slender advantage in a very tight race.

The debate was televised live by KET, Kentucky's statewide public television network. The sponsors did not allow still photographers or reporters into the studio during the event, preventing them from capturing the full context of how the candidates performed outside the view of KET's cameras.

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Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes hoped to rekindle her early campaign momentum and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell looked for the answer to a politically charged question Monday night in the only debate of a close and costly race for a Senate seat from...
US, Kentucky Debate
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2014-47-13
Monday, 13 October 2014 03:47 PM
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