Kentucky Secretary of State, Alison Grimes (D) and U.S. Kentucky Senator, Mitch McConnell (R) are currently campaigning against each other for a U.S. Senate seat. Mitch McConnell is running for a 6th term as senator in order to maintain his seat as senate minority leader. Mitch McConnell has won by landslides in the past, including a 5 percent win in the last election. However, this time around there might be a different story. Mitch McConnell may not have ninety nine problems, but Alison Grimes could become one.
When it comes to determining who is likely to win, multiple factors must be accounted for. There needs to be a clear understanding of who the public favors in addition to an understanding of how much favorability there is amongst supporters. People may support Mitch McConnell over Alison Grimes, but do they support him enough to make it to the polls?
It is clear that that the Democratic base is excited for Alison Grimes. Alison Grimes has surpassed fundraising records and surpassed Republican Mitch McConnell’s fundraising efforts, even in a red state. Mitch McConnell held the previous fundraising record in 2008 with 2.8 million dollars within a 3 month stretch, but Alison Grimes has raised 4 million dollars within the second quarter, a new Kentucky record. Average donation for Alison Grimes is 25 dollars, with 84,000 supporters.(1)It is an unprecedented achievement. With that being said, it is obvious that the Democratic base will turn out for Alison Grimes.
Recent polls have shown Mitch McConnell in the lead, however, these polls have “undecided” percentages as high as 19 percent, therefore making the polling unreliable. However, other polls have “undecided” percentages as low as 2 percent. When looking at all the polls listed, Mitch McConnell has a slight lead, but with room for turnover. (2) The Huffington Post model has Mitch McConnell leading by 3 percent (44.6 – 47.6), but will Mitch McConnell supporters have enough motivation to turn out to the voting polls?
Mitch McConnell and Alison Grimes are both having problems on the campaign trail. Since Alison Grimes is campaigning in a red state, she has to make herself marketable to those outside of the Democratic Party. She is still avoiding a clear statement on her view on the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care). This can be viewed as her trying to maintain her base while marketing to independents. Meanwhile, Grimes is firing at Mitch McConnell for his voting record, which is reaching public eye.
It is safe to say that this election will be the closest election Mitch McConnell has ever had to face as a U.S. senator, but the question is: can Alison Grimes achieve a victory and become Kentucky’s first U.S. female senator as a democrat in a red state? A win in Kentucky will be a large victory for the Democratic Party, especially since it would also mean the removal of the Republican senate minority leader. “Ouch” would be an understatement for the Republican Party if the Bluegrass state goes blue.
2014 Kentucky Senate: McConnell vs. Grimes – Polls – HuffPost Pollster (The Huffington Post) http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2014-kentucky-senate-mcconnell-vs-grimes
Youngman, Sam. “State fundraising record fall as Grimes best NcConnell in second-quarter dash for cash.”Lexington Herald-Leader [Lexington] 15 JUL 2014, Web. 4 Aug. 2014. <http://www.kentucky.com/2014/07/15/3337674/grimes-smashes-state-record-with.html>.
Image Credit: Skidmore, Gage. “Mitch McConnell.” Flickr: Creative Commons. Flickr, n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2014. <https://flic.kr/p/9hhypT>.