McConnell, 72, had polled well ahead of the 47-year-old Bevin, who was aided by more than $1 million in spending from outside conservative groups but made several mistakes and faced an onslaught of attacks from the well-funded veteran incumbent. McConnell now faces Alison Lundergan Grimes, who skated in her Democratic primary. Grimes is seen as a formidable general election opponent in what promises to be a very expensive race. [Politico]
THE MINI super Tuesday showed that the Republican establishment is ready to fight and can even win. Politico has a complete rundown of what happened in the primaries.
One outcome in Pennsylvania, where Democratic women took a shellacking.
Democrats are especially hopeful about the possibilities in the Pennsylvania governor’s race, where Corbett, the GOP incumbent, is highly unpopular.
[Tom] Wolf, who poured $10 million of his own money into the primary, quickly bested his Democratic rivals. Among them was Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who came in a distant second despite having early buzz in the contest. Wolf, who served as revenue secretary under former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and now runs his family’s cabinet-making company, blanketed the airwaves with ads beginning in late January, which helped his name recognition and standing tremendously.
[...] In Oregon, star Republican Senate recruit Monica Wehby has taken hits in recent days with the publication of reports about past domestic disputes. But because all votes in the state are submitted by mail, many ballots were already cast before the reports came out, so Wehby remains the strong favorite over state Rep. Jason Conger in the primary. Her chances against Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley in November may have taken a hit, however.
In Georgia, Michelle Nunn will meet the winner of the run-off, with David Perdue winning one GOP spot, the second is too close to call.
Alison Lundergan Grimes now finds herself in the deep end of the political swamp where you can’t see the slithering creatures below the surface. Senator Mitch McConnell is an experienced, dirty fighter with a lot of money. It’s already expected the race will bring in a ton of outside cash, even more than already has been spent. Grimes has been a media darling nationally, while her press reviews from seasoned reporters has been mixed. Recently, however, she’s gotten better reviews on her campaigning on the stump, so it would seem she’s improving as time goes on.
I’ll admit to wanting McConnell to go down on this one, so I’ve been watching it closely. I haven’t traveled to Kentucky to see Grimes in action, but I’m rooting for her. That does not mean I think she’ll win, but I do know she’s going to go all out, making McConnell work for it, and she doesn’t intend to make it easy for him.
Ms. Lundergan Grimes has a very tough road ahead, because the odds still favor the Republican in coal country.
Assuming Grimes UNDER-performs in coal country, she'll need HUGE margins in Jefferson (L-Ville) & Fayette (Lex) plus Beshear-Paul counties
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) May 21, 2014
It’s pretty clear, however, that the Lundergan Grimes campaign believes strongly that Mitch McConnell is beatable, which is why Kentuckians will likely see his wife, Elaine Chao, on the trail come the fall.
McConnell’s Super PAC Attacks Grimes For Obama Donors In TV Ad Funded By Obama Donors. In May 2014, the Courier-Journal reported “The super PAC supporting U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s re-election is running television ads blasting Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes for taking money from supporters of President Barack Obama, an unpopular man in Kentucky. But a few of the big donors to pro-McConnell super PAC ““ Kentuckians for Strong Leadership ““ have also contributed to Obama. For instance, Philip Geier, of New York, who gave $100,000 to Kentuckians for Strong Leadership last year, contributed $2,300 to Obama 2007. And Kenneth C. Griffin, of Chicago, who gave $50,000 to the McConnell super PAC last year, gave $4,600 to Obama in 2007. The Grimes campaign says five donors who gave a combined $257,300 to Kentuckians for Strong Leadership (about 8 percent of the super PACs receipts so far) gave to Obama between 2004 and 2008.” [Courier-Journal, 5/13/14]
McConnell Campaign Caught Accepting Money From Anti-Coal Activist, Attempts To Justify Double Standards. CNHI reported, “The Kentucky Coal Association last week warned 2014 Kentucky candidates not to accept contributions from anti-coal crusader Tom Steyer but the warning seemed aimed squarely at one candidate ““ Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes who wants to beat incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in this fall’s Senate election. But when KCA President Bill Bissett was informed this week that another anti-coal activist, Texan David Litman, contributed $2,000 to McConnell’s re-election campaign, according to Federal Election Commission reports, Bissett said he’s not alarmed because Litman’s activism isn’t on par with Steyer’s. The KCA public warning came on the same day Grimes was in Chicago for a meeting of the Democracy Alliance, a group of wealthy Democratic donors which Steyer recently joined. Federal and state records indicate Steyer hasn’t contributed to Grimes’ campaign and Grimes’ campaign spokeswoman said Grimes has never met with Steyer”¦McConnell’s campaign argues that because Grimes has attended fundraisers hosted or attended by some critics of coal, she can’t be a friend to Kentucky’s coal industry. The Republican also has tried to tie Grimes to President Barack Obama who many in the coal fields blame for the industry’s woes and to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who once said, “˜Coal makes us sick.’ Grimes says she’s a friend to the industry and its miners and opposes Obama’s environmental policies. In last week’s statement, Bissett wrote, “˜It is important that Kentucky candidates of all parties understand that KCA and its membership want you to know that supporting Steyer and the NextGen Climate Action political network will identify you as being against the production and use of Kentucky coal. You can either be pro-coal or accept money from the NextGen Climate Action’s political network, but you can’t do both.’ But none of that apparently applies to Litman’s contribution to McConnell.” [CNHI, 5/7/14]
McConnell’s Traveling And Fundraising Hypocrisy Exposed. In May 2014 the Daily News reported, “For a guy who is busy running the Republican side of the Senate and fighting for reelection, Mitch McConnell spends a lot of time in Manhattan. The 72-year old Senate minority leader’s campaign has faulted his opponent, Democrat Alison Lundegran Grimes, 35, for lengthy fundraising trips outside Kentucky in Hollywood and New York. But McConnell himself has made New York’s Marriott Downtown practically his third home. He made at least six trips to the Big Apple in first three months of 2014, according to Federal Election Commission records.” [New York Daily News, 5/7/14]
McConnell And Kentucky Republican Party Accepted Thousands From Chairman Facing Federal Sex Discrimination Lawsuit. In April 2014, Business Insider reported that “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has received nearly $10,000 in campaign contributions from the head of a company at the center of a high-profile sexual discrimination case. Cintas Corporation Chairman Richard Farmer has given $9,800 to McConnell over the past 13 years, the vast majority of which was contributed after the start of an ongoing lawsuit alleging the company engaged in a “pattern” of discrimination against female job applicants”¦In addition to the $9,800 he has given to McConnell, Farmer, who has also given to other Republican politicians and organizations, gave a total of $8,500 to the Kentucky Republican Party. [Business Insider, 4/30/14]