Dems moving back into Kentucky Senate race as polls show race tightening
Recent polls suggesting that Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Allison Lundergan Grimes is closing on GOP Senaor Mitch McConnell has changed the minds of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee about investing in the race.
The DSCC virtually pulled out of Kentucky last week. But with new polls showing undecideds breaking for Grimes, the Democrats have upped their ad buy in the Bluegrass State.
The party committee is reserving $650,000 in airtime to boost Alison Lundergan Grimes after reviewing recent internal and public polling, a DSCC official told POLITICO. The polling, the source says, suggested that undecided voters are moving in the Democrat’s direction.
The decision comes after the big-spending party committee said last week it had no plans to up its buy on the air in Kentucky until Election Day, a sign many interpreted as meaning that Washington Democrats had given up on the race. But with the new ad buy and ongoing DSCC investment in the Grimes voter turnout effort, Democrats are signaling they believe they can still pull off an upset in one of their few pickup chances.
Most public polls in recent weeks have shown McConnell maintaining a small but steady lead. A SurveyUSA poll this week showed the race in a dead heat, though the McConnell camp says it understates his support among men.
It’s unclear exactly how much effect $650,000 will have as the airwaves have been saturated with ads. But the move still is a risk for the DSCC given the array of seats Democrats must defend to save their endangered Senate majority.
History shows that undecideds break for the challenger anyway, so you have to wonder if this isn't some kind of feint by the national committee to force the GOP to spend more resources in the state. The DSCC has raised millions more than their GOP counterparts and they can part with $650,000 easier than the GOP.
But there's no doubt McConnell has not closed the sale and remains in trouble. What will almost certainly save him in the end - if he is saved - is the fact that there are a lot more Republicans in Kentucky than Democrats and President Obama remains wildly unpopular.