Friday, August 2, 2013

Kentucky Horseracing

It’s a little early to be making accurate predictions, but it’s something to at least garner a little attention: Mitch McConnell might be in trouble in his re-election bid.

McConnell faces fights on two fronts in his quest for reelection. First, businessman Matt Bevin announced a primary challenge from the right last week. Bevin’s an underdog, but he’s got the backing of influential conservatives including Erick Erickson, and as we learned in 2010, longstanding GOP senators can’t take reelection for granted these days. Rand Paul also upset establishment pick Trey Grayson in the 2010 primary for the other U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky.

Assuming McConnell knocks off Bevin, however, he’ll face a second challenge from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state. A poll by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, conducted for the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America and out this morning, suggests Grimes will give McConnell a run for his money. Not only is the senator’s approval underwater, he also trails Grimes head-to-head…

If you think it’s outside the realm of possibility that a powerful Senate leader could end up losing his own election, give Tom Daschle a call.  The former Senate Majority Leader can fill you in on what happens when the folks back home decide you’re spending too much time on Capitol Hill and not working for them.

However, Mr. McConnell’s biggest challenge isn’t the Democrats, it’s the move in from the right flank.  Making the Kentucky GOP choose between two candidates opens the door a little for Ms. Lundergran Grimes.  Or, as they say at Churchill Downs, when the money is split between the favorites, bet on the long shot.

3 barks and woofs on “Kentucky Horseracing

    • Quite possibly.

      McConnell nas made an art of the campaign-by-least-disliked: he’s very, VERY good at making his opponents look worse (sounds about like the way he operates in the Senate, actually). But with a True Red Teahadist on one side, and a popular and capable Dem on the other, there’s suddenly nowhere to run: he can clobber Bevin if he chooses, but doing so gives Grimes lots of ammo, or he can campaign against Grimes as the main threat and get passed on the right by Bevin before any of that makes a difference.

      With his current polling levels and approval ratings, it’s difficult to see him making them both less likeable/acceptable without losing the Teahadist base in the process, and trying would make all his ugly statements, missteps and contortions to keep his seat all fair game.

  1. I cannot stand the man. I know this is unkind, but he looks like a turtle and acts like a viper. Where is his chin?

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