KY Sen: McConnell Expands Lead Over Grimes

Matt Vespa

9/2/2014 7:30:00 PM - Matt Vespa

In Kentucky, Sen. Mitch McConnell has expanded his lead over his Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in one of the most competitive Senate races this midterm election year. Why is McConnell up in the polls? It’s because of his 10-point advantage with men; the voters Democrats are incapable of making inroads with, especially white, working class men. Kentucky women support for Grimes and McConnell has remained the same; they’re pretty much tied.

The new Bluegrass poll asked likely voters in Kentucky whom they would vote for if the election were held today. McConnell lead Grimes by 4-points 46/42. That’s up 2 from the last Bluegrass poll, where he was leading 47/45 over her.

McConnell has lost young voters ages 18-34, where 45 percent back Grimes compared to his 37 percent. McConnell was leading 49/44 with this demographic in the last poll. He’s also lost some support amongst black voters, dropping 8 points from 27 percent to 19 percent.

Amongst registered voters, both candidates are underwater in their favorability numbers. McConnell has remained at a paltry 36 percent, while Grimes registers at 38 percent; she’s up two from last month.

On the issues, McConnell leads Grimes by 22-points (44/22) over who Kentucky voters believe would effectively fight Obama’s war on coal. Twenty-four percent of voters in the Bluegrass State don’t think there’s a war on coal, while 11 percent don’t know.

When asked which candidate would you trust to improve the lives of women, Grimes holds a 21-point lead over McConnell 52/31. But, McConnell leads Grimes by 15-points on foreign policy 43/28, with Libertarian David Patterson coming in with 6 percent. Twenty-four percent on voters aren’t sure whom to trust when it comes to this issue, which has come front-and-center due to the rise of ISIS and the beheading of American journalists.

Patterson will be on the November ballot this November after submitting the appropriate number of signatures earlier this month.

Including Patterson in the mix, McConnell has a slim 2-point lead–a statistical tie–with Grimes on trust in handling the economy and a 35 point lead over Patterson at 40/38/5, with 17 percent indicating they’re aren’t sure who to support.

In trust over handling the issue of immigration, another crisis plaguing Congress, McConnell has a comfortable 8-point lead over Grimes 40/32. Patterson garners 4 percent of the vote. But again, a large number of voters–24 percent–aren’t sure.

I admit that the figure showing that nearly a quarter of Kentucky voters don’t believe there is a war on coal is a bit shocking. But so are the numbers of voters who aren’t sure who to support come Election Day. Immigration, foreign policy, and the economy are the three categories where there’s a lot of maneuvering to be done. And with a libertarian possibly being a spoiler in this contest, we shall see how these numbers in the next poll.