Monday, August 4, 2014

Will Tea Partiers Sink Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky Senate Reelection Bid?

Ben Jacobs at Daily Beast is asking the above question and reports:
If Alison Lundergan Grimes pulls off an upset victory over Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in November, she may have Tea Partiers to thank. But don’t expect conservative voters to rally to Grimes—they simply aren't getting behind McConnell...

Scott Hofstra, spokesman for the United Kentucky Tea Party, said he isn’t backing McConnell and “taking the lesser of the two evils approach.” Many conservatives, Hofstra predicted, either will leave the box on the ballot for U.S. Senate empty or will vote for David Patterson, the libertarian candidate. The senator has alienated many Tea Partiers and has yet to reach out to bridge the gap, Hofstra said. The divide was opened further, he added, by McConnell’s open support for Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Senate runoff and McConnell’s association with pro-Cochran ads that many conservatives assailed as race-baiting. “If there were some people on the fence after what happened in Kentucky, the Mississippi incident really put them over the edge,” Hofstra said. Still, he noted that Tea Party dissatisfaction with McConnell wasn’t winning Grimes their votes. “I haven’t talked to anybody who would vote her.”...

It’s not just Grimes who stands to benefit from Tea Party doubts about McConnell. Patterson, a policeman from the central Kentucky town of Harrodsburg, is seeking to get on the ballot as the Libertarian candidate. A recent poll put Patterson at 7 percent in the race and poised to be a spoiler....Although McConnell has had a slight edge over Grimes in recent polls, most political observers consider the race a tossup, and it looks likely to be tight through Election Day. - See more at:

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