The Kentucky Senate race just got interesting

Despite a really bad start, things aren’t looking bad for Allison Lundergan Grimes’s bid for Mitch McConnell‘s Senate seat (via Daily Kos):

Is Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race a tossup? That’s what the Cook Political Report now says, citing surveys from Public Policy Polling and The Mellman Group showing Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes leading Mitch McConnell.

PPP’s survey, released yesterday and conducted last week on behalf of the progressive groups DFA and PCCC, showed Grimes narrowly leading McConnell by 45-44 margin. Mellman’s survey was released today and was conducted July 20-24. It showed Grimes leading McConnell by a 44-42 margin. (Update/edit: Mellman’s poll was conducted for the Grimes campaign and it was released by them.)

Both surveys show the depth of McConnell’s unpopularity: His net approval rating in PPP’s survey was -11. Mellman’s survey showed McConnell with just a 38 percent positive approval rating and 58 percent negative. Mellman’s survey showed Grimes with a net positive rating of +4. Her 33 percent positive rating nearly matches McConnell’s despite his higher name recognition.

PPP’s and Mellman’s polling were both conducted before Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin kicked off his primary challenge to McConnell. Grimes held her official kickoff on Tuesday.

McConnell’s campaign responded to the new numbers by claiming the results of the Mellman poll had been “concocted” and were “fictitious.”

Speaking of conspiracy theories, last week, Republican firm Wenzel Strategies—the pollster of record for World Net Daily aka Birther Central—released a poll conducted July 19-21 showing McConnell with an 8 point lead over Grimes. Aside from the WND ties, it’s worth pointing out that Wenzel Strategies also released a poll one week before the 2012 election showing Mitt Romney would win Ohio, so obviously Karl Rove loves them too.

There’s a strong possibility Mitch is going with the numbers that proved so positive for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election. But the other side of this is that Mitch is going to be in a primary fight with an insane Tea Bagger, and if the Tea Bagger knocks him off, there’s no telling how Kentucky is going to go.

So Grimes has to hope that the Tea Bagger damages McConnell enough during the primary so that Mitch comes out a winner, but wounded. And she’ll have to be relentless in kicking him while he’s down.

It’s what Mitch would do if the tables were turned.

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