Friday, August 02, 2013
Electoral Trouble For Senate Minority Leader
Last year, Democrats were lamenting their poor chances of unseating McConnell, and many were of the opinion that they needed a famous name. Actress Ashley Judd was touted as a possible candidate, but decided against running. But it now looks like the Democrats chances were a lot better than they had thought.
It seems that the people of Kentucky are not happy with the job performance of McConnell. In an April poll, his approval rating was 36% and his disapproval was 54%. And it really hasn't improved much in the last few months (in spite of the fact that he is already running commercials). A July poll showed his approval at 40% and disapproval at 51%. Even some in his own party are not happy, and it now looks like he will have an opponent in next year's GOP primary.
But even if he survives the GOP primary, his troubles are not over. A new Public Policy Polling survey (done between July 19th and 21st of 1,210 Kentucky voters -- with a 2.8 point margin of error) has him running second to his likely Democratic opponent, Alison Grimes. Grimes only has a one point lead (45% to 44%), and that is within the poll's margin of error, but it shows that the small lead McConnell had enjoyed has now disappeared -- and at least for now, the race is a dead heat.
A previous Public Policy Polling survey (done between April 5th and 7th of 1,052 Kentucky voters -- with a 3 point margin of error) had shown McConnell with a 4 point lead (45% to 41%) over Grimes.
It's still a little more than 15 months until the 2014 election, and a lot could change between now and then. And it won't be easy to defeat a sitting senator serving as his party's leader. But it's amazing to think that Democrats might actually have a chance to flip that senate seat.