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Democratic senate candidate visits northern Kentucky
BELLEVUE, Ky. (Jeff Hirsh) -- It could end up being a 100 million dollar race in the battle for the United States Senate seat in Kentucky.
Incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, faces a spirited battle in the GOP primary from tea party candidate Matt Bevin. The Democrat, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, has smooth sailing towards her party's nomination. Grimes was in northern Kentucky Monday afternoon.
Supporters of Alison Ludergan Grimes have reason to cheer these days. Polls in Kentucky show Grimes in a dead heat, or even ahead by four points, over Senator Mitch McConnell. Republican Mitch McConnell calls his campaign "Team Mitch." Well, Alison Lundergan Grimes has little post cards that say, "Team Switch."
Grimes knows she needs enough Republicans and Independents to switch to the Democratic column in order for her to win. And Mitch McConnell can raise money, lots of money.
Grimes said, "The goal has never been to out raise Mitch McConnell. The checkbook he's left Kentuckians doesn't have much left after 29 years."
McConnell, who has low popularity ratings these days, will try to link Grimes to the also unpopular President Barack Obama and tout his own power.
He said, "So this fall you'll have a choice. You can take my desk and move it across the hall with someone who will make Harry Reid Majority Leader, the play caller in the Senate. Or do you want a leader of the majority from Kentucky?"
But first, McConnell has to deal with a challenge from his right, tea party candidate Matt Bevin.
Bevin said, "He's a big government guy. He's a moderate at best except when he's running for re-election."
Actually, there's one area where both Bevin and Grimes agree with McConnell.
McConnell said, "Elections make a difference. Winners make policy and losers go home."
The question, can Alison Lundergan Grimes make history or just come close?
She said, "The polls say it best. Kentuckians don't see this as a toss-up. They are ready to toss out their senior senator, someone who has failed to put them first. The only job he's looked out for is his own. The people of Kentucky are ready to have a voice in Washington instead of a chatterbox."
November, here we come. The Kentucky primary is May 20th. Mitch McConnell has a substantial lead over Matt Bevin but Bevin supporters say their candidate has a better chance against Democrat Grimes in the fall.