The United Kentucky Tea Party has demanded that Mitch McConnell drop his reelection bid, telling him that if he doesn’t, Alison Lundergan Grimes will win the seat in November. They want him to make way for their candidate Matt Bevin, citing his vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling as the final nail in his political coffin as far as the voters in Kentucky are concerned.
“Senator McConnell’s recent vote with Harry Reid to hand President Obama a blank check for the next year has further degraded his support in Kentucky,” said a spokesman for the group.
It was the decision by McConnell and Senate minority whip John Cornyn (R-TX) to change their votes, emboldening four other Republican Senators to change their votes to yes on the clean debt ceiling bill. The bill was passed in the House due to the inability of Republicans there to agree on a bill with strings attached preventing a filibuster by Ted Cruz (R-TX) and averting another disastrous government shutdown.
The move was not at all popular with the Tea party fringe who refuse to believe that a default by the U.S. on its debt obligations would precipitate a world wide economic collapse. They have vowed to remove all Republicans who voted with the Democrats to pass the bill.
As always, the one thing that the Tea partiers have failed to realize is the fact that while they do have a stronger presence in states like Kentucky, they are still a very small minority. Giving the nomination to Bevin does not assure them a win over Grimes. The polls show that Grimes and Bevin are statistically tied just as she and McConnell are.
Conservative polling firm Wenzel Strategies shows that in a race between McConnell and Grimes, McConnell is favored 43.2% to 41.8%, a statistical tie, with 91% of those polled either saying that they are somewhat firm to very firm in their resolve.
That same poll shows that in a race between Bevin and Grimes the advantage goes to Grimes with 38.6% to 36.3% for Bevin. Again, the majority are somewhat firm to very firm in their resolve at 84.5%. This too is a statistical tie, however only 24.8% hold a somewhat favorable to very favorable view of Bevin while 43.2% hold similar views of Grimes.
Those who give McConnell a good to excellent job approval rating outnumber those who disapprove of his job performance, with 37% saying that he is doing a good to excellent job with another 27% saying he is doing a fair job. Only 34% say his job performance is poor.
The Rasmussen and Public Policy Polling (PPP) polls show virtually the same spread of less than the margin for error separating McConnell or Bevin from Grimes, with slightly better numbers for McConnell than Bevin.
If the Kentucky Tea party would look beyond their blind hatred for President Obama and anyone who votes in favor of anything he supports, they would see that this is gong to be a tight race no matter who runs on the Republican ticket. But of the two, McConnell has a better chance of winning over Grimes than Bevin does. Fortunately for Grimes and the Democrats, it looks like she has an excellent chance of becoming the next Senator from Kentucky.