Alison Lundergan Grimes

Abbey Oldham

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has made no secret of his plans should he win re-election next month and should he become Senate Majority Leader.

The latter will happen if McConnell defeats Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and Republicans win a net of six Senate seats in November. McConnell has told audiences and reporters that, if he became Senate Majority Leader, he would seek to defeat President Obama’s legislative agenda by adding language to spending bills that would strip funding from projects the President supports.

In an interview with WKU Public Radio Wednesday, McConnell was asked specifically which programs he would seek to defund.

WKU Public Radio: What specific programs or initiatives would you seek to block if you were to become Senate Majority Leader?

Sen. Mitch McConnell: Well, my first choice, obviously, is to see what the President is willing to do with us. We need to do comprehensive tax reform. It’s been 30 years since we scrubbed the code. The President says he wants to do trade agreements. That’s a big winner for Kentucky agriculture. So I think you would anticipate kind of a mix of things, hopefully working on things we can agree on together.

But there are some things we would differ on. The initiatives that the President has carried out through the regulatory side have been quite burdensome to the economy. And we would indeed seek to reign in the regulators, and a good example of that is the war on coal, which has created a depression in eastern Kentucky.

McConnell, Grimes Differ on Marijuana

Sep 26, 2014
WKU Public Radio

Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates agree growing hemp is a good thing for the state, but they differ about the cannabis plant's cousin, marijuana.

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes told a radio interviewer on Thursday that she favors having a discussion to reclassify marijuana, especially for medical purposes. She criticized Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell for not wanting to have those discussions.
McConnell said Friday he opposes the legalization of marijuana in all circumstances, including for medical purposes. He said legalizing marijuana would send the wrong message to a country that he says should be fighting drugs.

About a dozen Kentucky farmers harvested the state's first commercial hemp crop in decades earlier this week. McConnell and Grimes have said they support


The Kentucky AFL-CIO is launching a mail campaign against Senator Mitch McConnell that the group says is part of a “massive political mobilization” that will also include knocking on doors, worksite fliers, and phone banking.  

The labor group is coming to the aid of McConnell’s Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The state AFL-CIO says it will distribute over 70,000 mailers in the coming days attacking Sen. McConnell, saying the Louisville Republican has “been in Washington too long, and he’s lost his way.” The labor group blasts the incumbent for voting against bills that would increase the minimum wage and black lung benefits for miners.

An AFL-CIO spokesman told WKU Public Radio there are over 350,000 current and retired workers in Kentucky who are members of the labor group.

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

President Barack Obama is playing a starring role in Kentucky's hotly contested Senate race despite Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes' efforts to distance herself from him.

Grimes this week aired an ad in which she explicitly says she is not Obama and disavows his positions on guns, coal and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

An outside group supporting Senator Mitch McConnell is spending nearly $1 million over the next week to run ads attacking his opponent on the immigration issue.

While immigration hasn’t been a major topic of focus in the Senate race between McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, the ads accuse Grimes of backing legislation that would lead to “citizenship for millions who broke the law.”

The Kentucky chapter of the ACLU is asking Kentucky Educational Television to adopt more inclusive rules related to who it invites to appear on its televised debates.

The Courier-Journal reports that the legal director for the Kentucky ACLU sent a letter to KET saying the statewide broadcaster might be running afoul of federal law due to changes it made to it rules regarding debates.

A copy of the rules sent to WKU Public Radio by KET stated that candidates invited to appear at its U.S. Senate debate must have accepted at least $100,000 in contributions for the current election. Another rule says that those invited must have at least 10 points of support in a public opinion survey conducted by an independent pollster.

After a series of polls showing Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race trending for incumbent Mitch McConnell, Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes has released a new poll showing her ahead by one percentage point. 

The internal poll was conducted by Mark Mellman, a Washington-based pollster hired by the Grimes campaign.

Several polls in recent months have shown Senate McConnell expanding his lead over Grimes, yet within the margin of error. 

“Bottom line is this is an exceedingly close’s a race that will certainly go down to the wire," said Mellman.

The Mellman survey of 800 likely voters was taken by phone September 4-7 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

Two polls show Mitch McConnell with a lead over Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky U.S. Senate race. 

A Rasmussen survey conducted last week shows McConnell with a 46-41 lead over Grimes among likely voters.  In May, the incumbent Republican had a slightly larger, seven-percentage point lead.  The two candidates were tied according to Rasmussen in January. The survey has a margin of error of plus-or-minus four percentage points.

Meantime, a new CNN poll has McConnell up four points over Grimes, which falls within the survey’s margin of error. Fifty-percent of poll respondents said they would support Sen. McConnell, with 46 percent backing Grimes. That survey also shows 16 percent of Democrats said they were either supporting or leading towards supporting McConnell.

Despite trailing in the polls overall, Grimes has big leads over McConnell in the state’s urban areas, including a 27-point-lead in the Louisville region.


Senator Mitch McConnell is declining to talk about the recent resignation of his campaign manager. At a stop Tuesday in Somerset, the Republican incumbent didn’t address issues surrounding Jesse Benton, who stepped down from the McConnell campaign last Friday.

Benton’s resignation came after a former Iowa state Senator pleaded guilty to charges related to a bribery scandal that took place while Benton was political director of then-Congressman Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. The state Senator pleaded guilty to accepting money from the Paul camp in exchange for an endorsement of Congressman Paul for president.

Benton faces no charges related to the case and has said he did nothing illegal.

The Herald Leader reports that Sen. McConnell refused to discuss Benton following a speech to the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce. The paper quoted McConnell as saying his campaign was “moving on” and “talking about the future and not the past.”

McConnell is seeking a sixth term in the Senate, and is being challenged by Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell maintains a slight lead in his bid for re-election, according to a new poll of 647 registered voters in Kentucky.  The five-term GOP incumbent is trying to fend off a challenge from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. 

The Bluegrass poll conducted for the Courier-Journal, Herald Leader, and other media outlets in Louisville and Lexington gives McConnell a four-point lead over Grimes.  The Senate Minority Leader was up two points in a poll taken last month. 

The Grimes campaign said it was pleased with the numbers two months ahead of the November election, noting McConnell’s advantage, while slightly expanding, is still within the margin of error.