Mitch McConnell

Alix Mattingly

Sen. Mitch McConnell has been reelected and is closing in on his goal of becoming the majority leader of the U.S. Senate.

McConnell defeated Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes quickly, with the Associated Press calling the race for McConnell at about 7 p.m., just as polls closed in the western part of the state.

“Secretary Grimes ran a spirited campaign, she won a lot of votes and she won my respect,” McConnell said during his victory speech Tuesday night.  “This was certainly a hard fought contest.”

This means Sen. McConnell will serve as U.S. Senator for six more years.  He was first elected as senator in 1985.

In his victory speech at the Marriott East in Louisville, Sen. McConnell made a pledge to constituents that their voice would "be heard in Washington."

Officials are encouraging Kentuckians to report any instances or suspicions of vote fraud on Election Day. The Kentucky Attorney General’s election fraud hotline will be open throughout Tuesday.

Spokeswoman Allison Martin says the most common complaints involve vote-buying or campaigning too close to a polling place.

Kentucky’s electioneering law was struck down by a federal judge earlier this year, but while the case is under appeal, it’s still illegal in most cases to promote any candidates within 300 feet of a polling place.

"The only change is that if you have private property that is across the street from a polling place, or near a polling place within that 300 foot boundary,  you do not have to take your sign down," Martin said.

Martin added the election fraud hotline received 205 calls from more than 60 counties during this year’s primary election.

The hotline number is 1-800-328-VOTE.

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

One of the most expensive Senate races in U.S. history will come to an end Tuesday evening when voters decide between Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes spoke to supporters at the Bowling Green United Auto Workers Hall Monday morning. She was dismissive of recent polls that show Sen. McConnell with a growing lead. An NBC/Marist poll released over the weekend gave McConnell a nine point lead.

“That’s the Washington D.C.-beltway punditry.  As you can see, the energy is palpable,” Grimes said, in reference to supporters at her Warren County event. “Kentuckians will have the final word in this election, and I do believe that they are bringing this race home, and will bring us across the finish line successfully.”

Grimes is hoping to become Kentucky’s first female U.S. Senator. On the final day of campaigning before votes are cast Tuesday, the Secretary of State is flying around the state, making appearances with Governor Steve Beshear, Former Governor Martha Layne Collins, and Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

McConnell is spending Monday alongside his fellow Kentucky Republican Senator, Rand Paul of Bowling Green. The two are flying around the state and speaking at airports across the commonwealth, including those in Bowling Green and Owensboro Monday afternoon.

If Republicans take over the Senate, the man expected to become the next majority leader is Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The title would be the culmination of a political career spanning more than three decades.

But first, McConnell has to win a sixth Senate term in a state where his popularity's been sagging.

Lisa Autry

The final Bluegrass Poll before Tuesday’s election day shows Senator Mitch McConnell with a five point lead over Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The poll shows 48% of likely voters plan to vote for McConnell, while 43% say they'll support  Grimes. Three percent said they'll vote for Libertarian candidate David Patterson.

Six percent are still undecided.

The poll’s results are still within the margin of error of 4.1 percentage points. The McConnell campaign said the poll numbers show the campaign is peaking.

The last poll showed Grimes two percentage points ahead of McConnell and the Grimes campaign says its own internal polling shows the race as a dead heat.

The Louisville Courier-Journal quotes Jennifer Duffy, senior editor at the non-partisan Cook Political report, as saying the Bluegrass Poll results are in line with other polling she’s seen in recent days.

Paul To Campaign For McConnell On Monday

Oct 30, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul will campaign with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell on the day before Kentucky's pivotal Senate election.

Paul will join McConnell on seven campaign stops Monday at airports across the state. McConnell will begin the day in Louisville before ending in Bowling Green, Paul's hometown. McConnell is facing Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in one of the country's most watched Senate races.

 Paul has been campaigning in competitive elections across the country as he attempts to boost his profile ahead of a possible run for president in 2016.

Grimes campaigned with former President Bill Clinton on Thursday and is scheduled to appear with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday.

Bill Clinton is once again trying to rally voters to the side of Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The Grimes campaign has announced that the former President will attend events at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville Thursday morning, with an afternoon visit to the Veteran’s Riverfront Park in Ashland planned for the afternoon.

It’s the fourth time Clinton has campaigned on behalf of Grimes, as she tries to unseat Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

The former President spoke at Grimes rallies in Owensboro and Paducah last week. Hillary Rodham Clinton is also returning to the commonwealth this Saturday to campaign on behalf of Grimes in northern Kentucky and Lexington.

Lisa Autry

One week from now, Kentucky voters decide whether to give U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell another six years or replace him with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. Both are crisscrossing the state trying to convince the still undecided. 

McConnell brought his "Kentucky Leads America" bus tour to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green Tuesday. Joining the five-term incumbent on the road was Grammy award-winning artist Lee Greenwood who energized a crowd of party faithful as McConnell sounded a familiar theme on the stump.  He said the makeup of the Senate must change in order to change the country. 

The Senate Minority Leader pointed a finger at the Obama administration for what he called a slow economic recovery, over-regulation, and a takeover of healthcare. McConnell suggested America was on the decline and said the eyes of the world are on Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race.

"Right here in our state is the only test of whether America is coming back, and with your help by golly, a week from today, America is on the way back," McConnell told the audience.

If Republicans win six seats next Tuesday, McConnell is positioned to become Senate Majority Leader, and-- in his words--call the plays for the country while still looking out for Kentucky.

Jindal, Warren To Campaign For McConnell, Grimes This Week

Oct 27, 2014

Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates are bringing in a pair of potential presidential candidates to help boost voter turnout in the final week of one of the country's most closely watched Senate races.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren will campaign with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Louisville on Tuesday while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will appear with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell on Wednesday.

This will be Warren's second trip to Kentucky for Grimes. She raised money for Grimes and spoke at a rally at the University of Louisville on tackling student loan debt earlier this year.

Grimes' campaign also announced Monday afternoon that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will return to Kentucky again to campaign with the Democrat on Saturday.

Jindal will appear with McConnell at the Restore America Rally in Louisville on Wednesday. Other guests include Carly Fiorina, the 2010 Republican Senate nominee in California, and conservative national radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

A poll conducted by the group Rasmussen Reports shows Senator Mitch McConnell leading Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes by 8 percentage points.

The telephone survey of 1,000 likely Kentucky voters showed 52 percent supporting McConnell, while 44 percent said they would vote for Secretary of State Grimes.

Two percent said they preferred another candidate in the race, and three percent said they were undecided.

See the entire Rasmussen Reports poll findings here.

The latest poll shows McConnell  receiving overwhelming support from Kentucky Republicans, with 83 percent saying they will vote for the incumbent. At the same time, McConnell is backed by 24 percent of those who identified as Democrats.

For the third time this campaign season, former President Bill Clinton is coming to Kentucky to campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.  Clinton will appear at “Get out the Vote” rallies in Owensboro and Paducah next week.  

Earlier this week, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined Grimes at a fundraiser in Louisville.  Grimes is hoping to unseat five-time Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell November 4th.

Sen. McConnell is scheduled to embark on a bus tour through Kentucky's coal country next week.


The highly anticipated debate between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is now history.  There were no obvious blunders or bombshell political revelations during Monday night's KET broadcast.

As expected, McConnell spoke with confidence about becoming senate leader in 2015.  Grimes echoed repeatedly, that after 30 years in Washington, the senior senator is out of touch with Kentucky's needs.  Coal was a prominent topic during the debate.  Grimes said she differs with the president on coal policies.  "We have to reign in the EPA, but we also have to work across the aisle in a coalition effort," said Grimes.

McConnell maintained federal regulations have cost thousands of miners their jobs.  "My job is to look out for Kentucky's coal miners.  This administration has engaged in an assault on our coal industry," said McConnell.

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

Although they’ve shared a stage several times since the May primary, Monday night’s televised exchange between Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes and incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is the only official debate. 

Kentucky Tonight begins at 7 p.m. central/8 p.m. eastern on Kentucky Educational Television.

Representatives from both parties are optimistic their candidate will come out on top.

Russ Wilkey, chairman of the Daviess County Democratic Party says he’d like to see more than just one debate.

“Probably the more debates the better for the challenger,” said Wilkey. “You know, my personal feeling is that I get really nervous watching debates. It’s like me watching a UK basketball game, I get really nervous.”

Judge Denies Libertarian's Debate Request

Oct 12, 2014

 A federal judge has denied Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate David Patterson's request to force a public broadcaster to include him in Monday night's debate between Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove ruled that Kentucky Educational Television did not exclude David Patterson from the debate solely because of his political views. Patterson argued KET had discriminated against him based on thousands of pages of emails where KET officials discussed tightening the criteria to participate in the debate so as to exclude non-serious candidates.

Libertarian Party of Kentucky chairman Ken Moellman said he was not happy with the decision but said the state party does not have enough money to appeal the ruling. McConnell and Grimes are scheduled to appear on KET at 8 p.m. eastern Monday.

Hillary Rodham Clinton To Campaign For Grimes

Oct 10, 2014
Hillary Clinton campaign

U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is getting help from another Clinton -- this time from Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Kentucky Democrat's campaign says the former U.S. secretary of state and potential presidential candidate in 2016 will campaign for Grimes next Wednesday night in Louisville. Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton said Friday the event is open to the public, and free tickets will be available at Democratic headquarters in all 120 Kentucky counties.

Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, has made two trips to Kentucky this year to makes pitches for Grimes in Louisville, Lexington and Hazard in eastern Kentucky. Bill Clinton carried Kentucky both times he won the White House in the 1990s.

Grimes is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in one of the nation's mostly closely watched campaigns.