Kentucky’s secretary of state easily won Tuesday’s vote. She looks to be McConnell’s toughest opponent since his first election in 1984, when he narrowly ousted Democrat Dee Huddleston. Recent polls show the two locked in a virtual tie.
The daughter of a former state party chairman and close personal friend of the Clintons, Grimes has raised $8 million since announcing her candidacy last year. She has about $5 million left.
To win, Grimes will have to separate herself from a Democratic president who is unpopular with more than 60 percent of Kentucky voters. In ads and campaign stops, Grimes has fashioned herself as an independent Kentucky woman.
McConnell has defeated millionaire businessman Matt Bevin in an expensive and bruising primary election
McConnell has been one of President Barack Obama’s fiercest critics, but Bevin accused the longtime senator of not being conservative enough.
Bevin spent $3.3 million in his bid as a political newcomer backed by various tea party groups. McConnell drowned him out with more than $9 million in spending. Outside groups spent millions more defending his conservative credentials.
McConnell had already shifted into fall campaign mode. He’s been attacking Obama’s health care law and coal regulations and trying to link Grimes to the president, who is deeply unpopular in Kentucky.
More Nation & World Headlines
Brussels to stay on highest threat alert into Monday Experts foresee big premium increases for Medicare drug plan As crime rises in Los Angeles, police, community take action Told he must go, Syria’s Assad may outlast Obama in office Mali hotel attack aimed at peace talks, say separatists After the snow, Midwest gets deep freeze Trump says he saw people celebrating 9/11 in Jersey City Endangered white rhino dies at San Diego Zoo
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.