Poll Analysis: ‘McConnell Has A Clear Advantage’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2014
Contact: Allison Moore 502-618-1372

Experts Agree That The Lundergan Grimes Path To Victory ‘Remains Closed’ And ‘Might Not Exist Anymore’ 

LOUISVILLE – Team Mitch today released the following background on recent polls showing Sen. McConnell with ‘a clear advantage’ in the Kentucky Senate race. 

‘An Additional Reason To Doubt Whether Ms. Grimes Could Win: Coal Country’ 

New York Times Analysis Shows Recent Polls Show Sen. McConnell Has A “Clear Advantage.” “But if there is any plausibly competitive state where we have now have a clear sense of a Senate race, it is Kentucky. A recent set of diverse and high-quality nonpartisan polls and the underlying fundamentals are all in alignment: Mr. McConnell has a clear advantage. Every survey over the last month shows Mr. McConnell ahead by more than four points, including two traditional live-interview surveys that contacted voters via a cellphones, one Internet panel survey and a nonpartisan automated poll that contacted voters without a landline by means of an online panel. (Nate Cohn, “Mitch McConnell’s Path to Re-Election Is Looking More Assured,” New York Times, 9/8/14) 

New York Times Election Forecasting Model Now Gives Sen. McConnell A 93% Chance Of Victory. “On average, Mr. McConnell leads by five points, and Leo, The Upshot’s Senate election forecasting model, now gives him a 93 percent chance of winning re-election. That’s partly because candidates usually win with such a clear lead at this stage, but it’s also because the underlying fundamentals point to a McConnell victory. (Nate Cohn, “Mitch McConnell’s Path to Re-Election Is Looking More Assured,” New York Times, 9/8/14) 

“There was an additional reason to doubt whether Ms. Grimes could win: coal country.” (Nate Cohn, “Mitch McConnell’s Path to Re-Election Is Looking More Assured,” New York Times,9/8/14) 

Because Of The Decline In Coal Country Support For Democrats, The Path To Victory For Democrats In Kentucky “Might Not Exist Anymore.” “As a result, the traditional and narrow Democratic route to victory in Kentucky might not exist anymore, at least for a candidate seeking federal office. Ms. Grimes would need to fare better in the rest of Kentucky than any federal candidate since 1976.” (Nate Cohn, “Mitch McConnell’s Path to Re-Election Is Looking More Assured,” New York Times, 9/8/14)

Grimes Path To Victory “Remains Closed.” “But Ms. Grimes was trying to pave a new road to victory without the help of any fundamental population changes like the ones that helped Democrats break through in Nevada or Virginia, without the help of any issues or messages that might reshape partisanship, as coal did in coal country, and in a time when the incumbent Democratic president was deeply unpopular. The polls make it clear that this path remains closed.” (Nate Cohn, “Mitch McConnell’s Path to Re-Election Is Looking More Assured,” New York Times, 9/8/14)

Since NBC/Marist’s Last Poll In May, Alison Grimes Unfavorable Rating Has Risen By 17 Points. “In Kentucky, Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes's favorable rating in May, according to NBC-Marist, was 39 percent, with just 24 percent viewing her unfavorably. Today, her favorable rating is unchanged at 39 percent, but her unfavorable rating his risen 17 points, to 41 percent. The split is a similar 41/43 among likely voters. In other words, Grimes's image went from 15 points positive to two points negative.” (Aaron Blake, “Three most important numbers in new Senate polls,” Washington Post, 9/8/14) 

“…At 28 percent, it's almost impossible to see how she ends up on top.” (Chris Cillizza, “This is how big a drag President Obama is on Senate Democrats,” Washington Post, 9/8/14)

Sen. McConnell Is “Pulling Away” From Alison Grimes In Senate Contest. “A new poll put out by NBC News and The Marist Institute for Public Opinion says Sen. Mitch McConnell is pulling away from Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes. The survey, conducted in September, says 47 percent of likely voters indicated they would vote for McConnell if the election were held today, compared to 39 percent for Grimes.” (John Paxton, “New poll says McConnell is pulling away,” WAVE, 9/7/14) 

With New Polls, Sen. McConnell “Looks Increasingly Safe” In His Re-Election Bid. “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) looks increasingly safe in his re-election bid, as a new NBC News/Marist poll gives him a healthy eight-point lead over Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.” (Jon Terbush, “Poll: Mitch McConnell opens wide lead in re-election bid,” The Week, 9/7/14)

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