Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is losing the online war in the effort to unseat Republican Mitch McConnell.
The first two websites that display following a Google search for the term “Alison Lundergan Grimes for Senate” Tuesday were websites set up by groups aiming to defeat her next year.
The groups behind the two sites paid Google advertising revenue in order to have those websites appear at the top of page, something that is a common practice.
The first return is a website that looks like an official site for Grimes, but is operated by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Featuring a picture of Grimes next to a picture of President Obama, the site declares the 34-year-old Secretary of State is “not ready” for the U.S. Senate, and contains links to media reports critical of last week’s event in Frankfort where Grimes announced she was entering the Senate race.
A “donate” button at the site links to a page where contributions can be made to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
The second website displayed following a Google search for the Grimes Senate campaign is a site run by the McConnell re-election campaign that urges viewers to sign an online petition opposing what it calls President Obama’s “war on coal.”
It's safe to say this isn't the start Alison Lundergan Grimes--or her supporters--had in mind when they envisioned their effort to take out Kentucky's powerful senior U.S. Senator, Mitch McConnell.
Grimes ended months of speculation Monday afternoon when she announced she will seek the Democratic party's nomination for the 2014 Senate race. But in doing so, she raised as many questions as she answered.
One of Kentucky's best political reporters, Ryan Alessi of cn/2's "Pure Politics", says supporters who met with Grimes in Frankfort Monday before she announced her decision described the meeting as "unorthodox,” “unprecedented,” “fascinating” and, at times, “surreal.”
According to Alessi, Grimes seemed to be undecided on whether or not to run during the pre-announcement meeting, and asked those in attendance what they thought she should do. After meeting for nearly an hour, the consensus formed that Grimes should run for Senate.
Kentucky Democrats have lined up what they hope will be a formidable candidate to take on powerful Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in next year's campaign.
Ending months of speculation, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Monday afternoon that she will enter the 2014 U.S. Senate race.
“I’m here today to tell you that I have met with my supporters, we have had a great conversation and determined and decided that we can next make the best move, the best difference in the Commonwealth of Kentucky by running for the U.S. Senate,” she said.
Speaking in Frankfort to a room of supporters and reporters, Grimes said Kentuckians are tired of McConnell and what she described as his "28 years of obstructionism." She also chided McConnell for voting against increases in the minimum wage and for "losing touch with Kentucky issues, voters, and values."
Referencing the length of time it took for her to formally declare her entrance into the Senate contest, the 34-year-old Maysville native said she wasn't willing to join the race until she had done all of her homework.
“Make no mistake, members of the media, this due diligence was not reluctance, it was not hesitancy,” she said, “but rather a deliberate gathering of all the necessary facts to make a decision that’s not to be taken lightly.”
The announcement started more than 30 minutes later than it was scheduled, and lasted less than five minutes. Grimes answered only a few questions from reporters before leaving the stage.
Grimes has been Secretary of State since 2012. Before that, she was an attorney in Lexington. Grimes comes from a well-connected political family. Her father, Jerry Lundergan, served as chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and potential Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes are tied in a new poll of Kentucky voters, though state Republicans are calling the results a "sham."
The poll, by Public Policy Polling, stated that McConnell and Grimes were each supported by 45 percent of Kentucky voters. In April, a PPP poll showed Grimes trailing by 4 points. In December, she trailed by 7 points.
The PPP poll was paid for by the Senate Majority PAC, an organization founded with the help of Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid, the current majority leader.
Republicans are characterizing the results as "push polling"—a poll that tries to influence answers through the questions asked.
The PPP poll's critics say the questions directly comment about McConnell, his tenure in the Senate or some of his votes, rather than asking more simple questions as scientific polls often do.
The former Miss America has joined a list of half a dozen party activists or leaders waiting for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to decide whether she'll run in 2014 against Mitch McConnell for his U.S. Senate seat.
If Grimes run, she's likely to get enough support to clear out the field. Otherwise, the Democrats have potential candidates known within political circles, but who may be not instantly recognizable with the majority of voters—former state Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gorman or environmental activist Tom FitzGerald, for example.
Without Grimes, Democrats may find themselves with a crowded primary—and that would cause problems in a bid to unseat McConnell, who polls suggest is vulnerable, says Dewey Clayton, a political scientist for the University of Louisville.