By Timothy Cama
A new poll shows Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump hires Rand Paul's former digital director: report Overnight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Overnight Healthcare: Blame game over Zika funding MORE (R-Ky.) widening his lead over his Democratic opponent, the second time the Bluegrass Poll has had the Republican ahead.
With just two months away from the midterm election, the poll released Saturday found that McConnell would get 46 percent of likely voters, compared with Grimes’s 42 percent, the Courier Journal reported.
Grimes had led in Bluegrass Polls up until the one a month ago, in which McConnell opened a two-point lead. Saturday’s poll is the third consecutive time McConnell’s chances have improved over Grimes, Kentucky’s secretary of state.
McConnell’s lead was almost within the 4.2-point plus or minus margin of error.
McConnell’s campaign said the poll shows that voters are liking him more and more.
“It’s becoming more clear the closer we get to the election that voters want a proven leader like Senator McConnell who delivers for Kentucky rather than an inexperienced liberal who is just another vote for the Obama agenda,” Allison Moore, a spokeswoman for McConnell, told the Courier-Journal in a statement.
Grimes said the poll clearly shows she can win.
“After facing a barrage of more than $30 million in spending from Mitch McConnell and his allies, our campaign remains well within the margin of error against the 30-year Washington incumbent,” Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton said in a statement.
The latest poll was taken within days of revelations that Grimes may have violated campaign funding laws by leasing a bus from her father’s company below market value. It also came as news was being reported of McConnell’s comments at an event arranged by the billionaire Koch brothers.
But it was taken before McConnell’s campaign manager Jesse Benton resigned Friday amid allegations that he was tied to an endorsement-buying scandal involving Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) 2012 presidential run.
McConnell’s lead in the Saturday poll was substantial with voters ages 35 to 64, with younger voters going to Grimes. McConnell led with every education level, though Grimes’s gap was closest for voters with college degrees, the Courier-Journal said.
The Republican’s favorability grew in the poll, though 46 percent still view him unfavorably, and only 36 percent favorably.
Grimes saw a 38 percent favorable rating and 37 percent unfavorable.