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Poll: Grimes Edging McConnell in Kentucky

Poll: Grimes Edging McConnell in Kentucky

By Scott Conroy - October 17, 2013

Voters in the Bluegrass State aren't pleased with the state of affairs in Washington, and they appear to be taking it out on Mitch McConnell.

The Senate minority leader narrowly trails Kentucky's Democratic secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, in his 2014 re-election bid, according to a new survey conducted by the Democratically affiliated Public Policy Polling for progressive group Americans United for Change.

Lundergan Grimes leads McConnell by a two-point margin (45 percent to 43 percent), which is within the poll’s margin of error (plus or minus 2.8 percent). Twelve percent of respondents remained undecided.

The poll of 1,193 voters was conducted Oct. 14-15.

The Kentucky Senate campaign will be one of the marquee contests in next year’s midterm elections. Before McConnell even makes it to the general election, however, he must fend off a primary challenge from Matt Bevin -- a Tea Party-backed businessman.

McConnell remains the favorite in that race, but he is facing the prospect of stiff competition from Lundergan Grimes, whose campaign outraised the Republican incumbent in her first quarter as a candidate. Lundergan Grimes raked in $2.5 million during the fundraising period between July and September, while McConnell raised $2.27 million. Still, the five-term lawmaker enjoys a significant cash-on-hand advantage over his Democratic opponent.

In the PPP poll, Lundergan Grimes had a 10-point lead over McConnell among women (51 percent to 41 percent), while the Republican bested her by nine points among men (51 percent to 42 percent).

Sixty percent of Kentuckians said that they opposed the recent shutdown of the federal government, while just 32 percent supported it. 

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at sconroy@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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