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Kentucky Senate - McConnell vs. Grimes

Candidates

Alison Lundergan Grimes

Alison Lundergan Grimes (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell (R)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Kentucky Snapshot

RCP Average:
RCP Ranking: Leans GOP
2014 Key Races: KY-6

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

2012: President | KY-6
2011: Governor
2010Senate | KY-3 | KY-6
2008President | Senate | KY-3
2007: Governor
2006KY-3 | KY-4
2004President | Senate | KY-3

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEGrimes (D)McConnell (R)Spread
Final Results------40.756.2McConnell +15.5
RCP Average10/15 - 11/1----41.849.0McConnell +7.2
PPP (D)*10/30 - 11/11503 LV2.54250McConnell +8
NBC News/Marist*10/27 - 10/30556 LV4.24150McConnell +9
Courier-Journal/SurveyUSA*10/25 - 10/29597 LV4.14348McConnell +5
CBS News/NYT/YouGov*10/16 - 10/231502 LV4.03945McConnell +6
Rasmussen Reports10/15 - 10/161000 LV3.04452McConnell +8

All Kentucky Senate - McConnell vs. Grimes Polling Data

RCP Poll Average
Kentucky Senate - McConnell vs. Grimes
41.8Grimes (D)
49.0McConnell (R)+7.2
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Race Analysis

10/28/14 -- The SurveyUSA poll looks like a bit of an outlier, and there really isn't much reason to suspect that Grimes is closing the gap by looking at the trendlines. McConnell enters the home stretch with the lead.

10/17/14 -- National Democrats seem to be pulling the plug on Grimes' campaign. The fundamentals of the state are just too much for her to overcome.

10/7/14 -- SurveyUSA is one of two pollsters to show Grimes ahead this cycle. Until there is a confirming poll, we probably should treat it as an outlier. But it is one cause for heartburn for Team Mitch.

9/8/14 -- As this race engages, Grimes' numbers seem to be falling back to Earth. There is still plenty of time for her to turn things around, but the danger for her is that national Democrats could decide to abandon her campaign if she drops too far behind.

----------Race Preview----------

Kentucky politics can largely be explained by the state’s congressional districts. The 1st and 2nd Districts are (roughly) the Jackson Purchase and Pennyrile areas of the state, which vote like the Deep South. The 3rd and 6th Districts represent urban Louisville and greater Lexington, while the 4th District is the Republican suburbs of Cincinnati and Louisville. The 5th District is an amalgam of two older districts, one of which was old mountain Republican territory, and one of which was heavily unionized and Democratic coal mining country. The name of the game for Republicans is to run well in the 4th and 5th and hold their ground in the 1st and 2nd, while Democrats try to add to their bases in Louisville, Lexington, and the coal mining areas of the 5th.

The problem for Democrats is that the coal mining areas of the 5th have steadily drifted away from them over the past decade. Sen. Rand Paul owes much of his 2010 victory to outsized Republican margins in the area, margins that were matched by Republican presidential candidates in 2008 and 2012. At the same time, Democrats have managed to enjoy continued success at the local level, and hold most statewide offices.

That encapsulates the million-dollar question for 2014, when the very unpopular Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, will face off against Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. If Grimes can push into the historic Democratic base in coal country, this election will probably stay close. If not, the 44 percent of the vote that Grimes is currently receiving will probably represent something of a ceiling for her.

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEGrimes (D)McConnell (R)Spread
Final Results------40.756.2McConnell +15.5
RCP Average10/15 - 11/1----41.849.0McConnell +7.2
PPP (D)*10/30 - 11/11503 LV2.54250McConnell +8
NBC News/Marist*10/27 - 10/30556 LV4.24150McConnell +9
Courier-Journal/SurveyUSA*10/25 - 10/29597 LV4.14348McConnell +5
CBS News/NYT/YouGov*10/16 - 10/231502 LV4.03945McConnell +6
Courier-Journal/SurveyUSA*10/15 - 10/19655 LV3.94344McConnell +1
Western Kentucky Univ.*10/6 - 10/19LV4.14245McConnell +3
Rasmussen Reports10/15 - 10/161000 LV3.04452McConnell +8
FOX News*10/4 - 10/7706 LV3.54145McConnell +4
Courier-Journal/SurveyUSA*9/29 - 10/2632 LV4.04644Grimes +2
CBS News/NYT/YouGov*9/20 - 10/11689 LV3.04147McConnell +6
Reuters/Ipsos9/8 - 9/12944 LV3.64246McConnell +4
NBC News/Marist*9/2 - 9/4691 LV3.73947McConnell +8
Rasmussen Reports9/1 - 9/2750 LV4.04146McConnell +5
CBS News/NYT/YouGov8/18 - 9/22130 LV3.04247McConnell +5
CNN/Opinion Research8/28 - 9/1671 LV4.04650McConnell +4
Courier-Journal/SurveyUSA*8/25 - 8/27569 LV4.24246McConnell +4
PPP (D)8/7 - 8/10991 LV3.14247McConnell +5
CBS News/NYT/YouGov7/5 - 7/24LV4.24650McConnell +4
Courier-Journal/SurveyUSA7/18 - 7/23604 LV4.14547McConnell +2
Magellan Strategies (R)6/4 - 6/5808 LV3.54946Grimes +3
Rasmussen Reports5/28 - 5/29750 LV4.04148McConnell +7
Wenzel Strategies (R)5/23 - 5/24608 LV4.04447McConnell +3
Courier-Journal/SurveyUSA*5/14 - 5/161475 LV2.64342Grimes +1
NBC News/Marist4/30 - 5/62353 RV2.04546McConnell +1
CEA/Hickman Analytics (D)4/24 - 4/30500 LV4.44546McConnell +1
NY Times/Kaiser4/8 - 4/15891 RV4.04344McConnell +1
Wenzel Strategies (R)2/8 - 2/111002 LV3.14243McConnell +1
Courier-Journal/SurveyUSA1/30 - 2/31082 RV3.04642Grimes +4
Rasmussen Reports1/29 - 1/30500 LV4.54242Tie
PPP (D)12/12 - 12/151509 RV2.54243McConnell +1
Wenzel Strategies (R)7/23 - 7/24624 LV3.94048McConnell +8
Wenzel Strategies (R)6/1 - 6/2623 LV3.94047McConnell +7
PPP (D)4/5 - 4/71052 RV3.04145McConnell +4
PPP (D)12/7 - 12/91266 RV2.84047McConnell +7