Republican Mitch McConnell continues to hold a four point lead over Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, breaking 50% for the first time and, perhaps most importantly, drawing 16% of Democrats, while Grimes is only pulling about half as many Republicans away from McConnell.
With national Democrats continuing to play the race up big, while dumping in a lot of money, Kentucky could come down to a turn out battle in the Fall. Grimes’ only real edge rests in “a 10-point lead over McConnell in the Bluegrass region (anchored by the cities of Lexington and Frankfort), a 27-point lead over McConnell in the Jefferson County area (anchored by the city of Louisville), and an 8-point lead over McConnell in the suburbs of Louisville and Cincinnati”.
Whether Democrats can get that vote to turn out in a mid-term and in a state in which Barack Obama remains incredibly unpopular is a very open question. In the end, voters may opt to have a senior McConnell in control of the Senate, as opposed to the untested Grimes.
President Obama remains deeply unpopular in Kentucky, with only 29 percent of respondents approving of his job performance. Republicans have done all they can to tie Grimes to the president — particularly on the issue of coal, which makes up a significant portion of Kentucky’s economy.
Despite Grimes’s efforts to distance herself from the president, those attacks appear to have worked, as McConnell leads by 20 percent in eastern Kentucky and 28 percent in western Kentucky, the state’s two coal-producing regions. Grimes, however, leads substantially in the more urban areas of the state.