Difference between revisions of "United States Senate elections in Kentucky, 2014"

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(See also)
(Primary election)
Line 99: Line 99:
=====McConnell working=====
=====McConnell working=====
McConnell's campaign released an ad on March 11, 2014, that lacked any narration. Instead, it featured stock footage of McConnell going through what seems to be his day-to-day routine-- signing papers, shaking hands, and sitting on a couch with his wife.<ref>[http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/03/29/295927924/whats-with-this-video-of-mcconnell-doing-stuff ''NPR'', "What's With This Video Of McConnell Doing Stuff?," accessed March 31, 2014]</ref>
McConnell's campaign released an ad on March 11, 2014, that lacked any narration. Instead, it featured stock footage of McConnell going through what seems to be his day-to-day routine-- signing papers, shaking hands, and sitting on a couch with his wife.<ref>[http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/03/29/295927924/whats-with-this-video-of-mcconnell-doing-stuff ''NPR'', "What's With This Video Of McConnell Doing Stuff?," accessed March 31, 2014]</ref>
=====Conservative leadership=====
In the final month before the primary, McConnell released an ad on April 21, 2014, "Conservative Leadership." The ad was a positive spot and showed [[Mitch McConnell|McConnell]] as “a genuine Kentucky workhorse.” It also highlighted his work in the [[United States Senate|Senate]] against the Affordable Care Act and the “war on coal,” as well as his efforts against tax increases and on a local fishing issue.<ref>[http://atr.rollcall.com/mcconnell-launches-ad-final-month-of-primary/ ''Roll Call'', "Mitch McConnell Launches Ad for Final Month of Primary," accessed April 22, 2014]</ref>
====Outside groups====
====Outside groups====

Revision as of 08:21, 22 April 2014


2014 U.S. Senate Elections in Kentucky

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
May 20, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Mitch McConnell Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Mitch McConnell Republican Party
Mitch McConnell.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Toss Up[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Likely R[2]

Other Senate Elections
Alabama • Alaska • Arkansas • Colorado • Delaware • Georgia • Idaho • Illinois • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Montana • Nebraska • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • North Carolina • Oklahoma • Oregon • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Virginia • West Virginia • Wyoming

2014 U.S. House Elections

Flag of Kentucky.png
Voters in Kentucky will elect one member to the U.S. Senate in the election on November 4, 2014.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
January 28, 2014
May 20, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Kentucky is one of 12 states to use a strictly closed primary process, in which the selection of a party's candidates in an election is limited to registered party members.[3][4][5]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters had to register by April 21, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 6, 2014.[6]

See also: Kentucky elections, 2014

Incumbent: The election will fill the Senate seat currently held by Mitch McConnell (R). McConnell was first elected in 1984.

Kentucky is a solidly Republican state.[7]


General election candidates

May 20, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Independent Third Party Candidates

Failed to file


Declined to run

Race background

In 2008, Mitch McConnell won re-election to a fifth term and became Kentucky's longest serving senator.[30] McConnell spent approximately $20 million on his last election, beating Democrat Bruce Lunsford, a Kentucky businessman, by 6 percentage points.[30]

McConnell served as the Republican Party Whip from 2005 to 2007, before he took on the role of Senate Minority Leader in 2007.[31]

Low approval ratings and a primary challenge from tea-party backed Matt Bevin make McConell a vulnerable incumbent in 2014.[32] McConnell was also troubled by the lack of backing from national GOP candidates.[33]

Since Republicans were able to pick up the necessary six seats for a majority in 2014, McConnell is likely to take over as the new Senate Majority Leader.

Primary to watch

The primary battle between Matt Bevin and incumbent Mitch McConnell was highlighted as one of the top five primaries to watch in 2014.[34]

Primary vulnerability

McConnell was named by National Journal as one of the top five incumbent senators at risk of losing his or her primary election. Four of the five most vulnerable senators were Republican.[35]

Primary election


Matt Bevin

The same day that McConnell's primary challenger Matt Bevin was set to officially announce his candidacy, McConnell’s campaign announced a new ad buy labeling his primary opponent “Bailout Bevin” and noting that Bevin’s business, which is based in Connecticut, accepted $200,000 in bailout funds.[36]

Mitch McConnell's July 24, 2013, ad, "Bailout Bevin."

Matt Bevin's first ad, released July 24, 2013, "Meet Matt Bevin."

In response to McConnell’s ad, the Senate Conservatives Fund, went after McConnell saying, “It’s the height of hypocrisy for Mitch McConnell to attack anyone on bailouts when he was the one who voted with Barack Obama to bail out the Wall Street banks.”[36]

Bevin released his own ad on the day he announced his official candidacy. The ad, "Meet Matt Bevin," began by Bevin saying, “Mitch McConnell has had a long career in politics. But after 30 years in politics, is his leadership really the best that we can do? America deserves more than failed leadership. We can do better.”[37]

A narrator chimes in, saying that “McConnell has voted for higher taxes, bailouts, debt ceiling increases, congressional pay raises, and liberal judges.” Bevin, on the other hand, is described as a “successful businessman, father of nine, veteran, conservative, Republican.”[37]

Bevin's February 19, 2014, ad, "Conservative Principles - Earmarks."

Bevin's February 19, 2014, ad, "Conservative Principles - 2nd Amendment."

Bevin's February 24, 2014, ad, "Blank Check."

Bevin's April 1, 2014, ad, "Caving."

Bevin's campaign released two 15-second ads on February 19, 2014. The ads compared-and-contrasted Bevin and McConnell, with one focused on guns and one on earmarks.[38]

Bevin released a $30,000 ad buy on February 24, 2014, attacking McConnell for his vote to move forward a bill to pass a year-long debt ceiling extension earlier this month.[39]

The ad began with Bevin on camera before a narrator said, "Mitch McConnell betrayed conservatives to give Obama a blank check...Matt Bevin opposes raising the national debt. Period. The choice is clear. Conservative Republican Matt Bevin for U.S. Senate."[39]

Bevin blasted McConnell for supporting a debt-limit increase and launching “false attack ads” in an April 1, 2014, ad, "Caving." In the ad Bevin highlighted "Mitch McConnell's long record of surrendering to President Obama, including voting to give him a blank check by increasing the debt ceiling and voting to fund Obamacare."[40]

The ad featured Bevin speaking directly to the camera, “after caving yet again to President Obama on the debt ceiling, all that Mitch McConnell can do is run false attack ads."[41]

Kentucky Opportunity Coalition's March 2014, ad, "Deserve."

Kentucky Opportunity Coalition's April 2014, ad, "Advocate."

Bevin's March 27, 2014, ad, "March Madness."

McConnell's March 11, 2014, ad, "McConnell Working for Kentuckians."
March Madness

Bevin released a $40,000 ad buy on March 27, 2014, "March Madness," that featured McConnell in a Duke basketball jersey. In the ad, Bevin said, “March Madness in Kentucky. Commitment, courage — you gotta love it, even if your team is already out of the tournament."[42]

Bevin referenced an ad McConnell's re-election campaign released an ad on March 25, 2014, that accidentally included a clip of the Duke basketball team celebrating its 2010 NCAA championship. The campaign pulled the ad and replaced it with a different version, which later had to be taken down when the University of Kentucky sent the campaign a cease-and-desist letter for including footage of a current student-athlete in the ad.[43][42]

McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore responded in a statement: "Given Bailout Bevin's undying commitment to a fictional account of himself and Senator McConnell, we actually expected this ad to be about the time he won a national championship back in the 80s as a point guard for the MIT Engineers. Matt Bailout Bevin is not who he says he is, and he's certainly not a Kentucky conservative."[42]

Mitch McConnell

Duke basketball

In a campaign ad released on March 25, 2014, McConnell's campaign highlighted Kentucky's horse racing, bluegrass and basketball.[44] The campaign scrambled to remove the ad when it discovered that it featured a split-second clip of Duke basketball players celebrating their 2010 national championship, instead of University of Kentucky players.[44][45]

McConnell spokesperson Allison Moore said, "The ad was intended to highlight Kentucky's basketball dominance and obviously the web ad vendor has become so accustomed to watching national championship celebrations in the bluegrass state that they made a mistake with one of the images. Obviously we were horrified by the error and quickly changed it."[44]

After replacing the image of the Duke basketball team with one from the University of Kentucky, McConnell's campaign received a cease and desist letter from the University of Kentucky.[46] The NCAA does not permit the use of a student-athlete's image or likeness while they are still competing as amateurs.[46]

The University of Kentucky released a statement on March 25, 2014: "The University of Kentucky consulted with the NCAA earlier today regarding footage of Julius Randle in a Mitch McConnell advertisement. Although the use of the student-athlete's image in the advertisement is not permissible, because it was done without the knowledge or permission of the university or the student-athlete, it is not an NCAA violation. The University of Kentucky has sent a cease and desist letter and will continue to take appropriate measures to ensure improper usage of a student-athlete's name, image or likeness is prevented."[46]

Moore released a subsequent statement, “Earlier today, issues related to the use of NCAA images in a web video created by an outside vendor for our campaign were brought to our attention. The video was taken down immediately after questions were raised. It was our intention to honor our great Kentucky basketball traditions. Our campaign apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused.”[47]

McConnell working

McConnell's campaign released an ad on March 11, 2014, that lacked any narration. Instead, it featured stock footage of McConnell going through what seems to be his day-to-day routine-- signing papers, shaking hands, and sitting on a couch with his wife.[48]

Conservative leadership

In the final month before the primary, McConnell released an ad on April 21, 2014, "Conservative Leadership." The ad was a positive spot and showed McConnell as “a genuine Kentucky workhorse.” It also highlighted his work in the Senate against the Affordable Care Act and the “war on coal,” as well as his efforts against tax increases and on a local fishing issue.[49]

Outside groups


Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, launched a three-week, $1.8 million advertising campaign in Kentucky on March 17, 2014. To date, it was the largest ad buy in the campaign.[50][51]

As a non-profit organization, its political activity is restricted to issue-focused ads that do not directly endorse one candidate over another.[50]

Scott Jennings, a senior adviser with the group, said, "This week, you'll see the coalition specifically discuss issues that affect Kentucky's veterans and military installations. Each of the next three weeks will bring a different issue to the table, and we are pleased to have the resources to educate citizens about these critical matters...This advertising is designed to educate citizens about President Obama's plans to slash military spending and leave our nation in a weaker position, and to urge Sen. Mitch McConnell — who has a strong record of standing up for Kentucky's service men and women — to oppose those military budget cuts."[50]

The group released an ad on April 1, 2014, that focused on the death tax.[52] A farmer featured in the ad claimed that the death tax makes it harder to pass his land onto his family after he dies.[52][53]


Republican Primary

Republican primary
Poll Mitch McConnell Matt BevinBrad CopasChris PayneShawna SterlingUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
May 14-16, 2014
Gravis/Human Events
May 12, 2014
NBC News/Marist
April 30 - May 6, 2014
Gravis Marketing/Human Events
April 15-17, 2014
Public Opinion Strategies
February 24-26, 2014
Wenzel Strategies
February 8-11, 2014
Survey USA
January 30-February 4, 2014
Gravis Marketing/Human Events
January 2, 2014
Public Policy Polling
December 12-15, 2013
Lake Research
Ocotber 24-29, 2013
Voter/Consumer Research
August 18-20, 2013
Wenzel Strategies
July 23-24, 2013
AVERAGES 55.75% 26% 0.08% 0.08% 0.25% 17.08% +/-4.07 792
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org



Matt Bevin took part in a rally in April 2014 to support the legalization of cockfighting in Kentucky.[54]

Bevin's campaign described the event at the Corbin Arena in Corbin, Kentucky, as a "states' rights rally," and said that Bevin was unaware that it had any ties to cockfighting.[55]

"It was not a cockfighting rally, it was a states' rights rally," said Rachel Semmel, a Bevin spokeswoman.[54]

TARP funding

In February 2014, Bevin called the 2008 federal bailout of banks and Wall Street giants “irresponsible” and says he would have opposed it.[56] The comments came after prior backing by Bevin in 2008 when he supported the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the Federal Reserve’s decision to begin buying commercial paper issued by banks.[56]

Bevin campaign spokeswoman Rachel Semmel said in a statement, “Matt has always opposed the TARP bailout and similar misuses of taxpayer dollars."[56]


According to a report by The Hill in September 2013, challenger Matt Bevin was among four Republican senate candidates who had come out against intervening in Syria while the incumbent challenger, in this case McConnell, remained undecided.[57] Following the report, McConnell announced that he would vote against a resolution authorizing the use of force against Syrian President Bashar Assad.[58]

“I will be voting against this resolution -- a vital national security risk is clearly not at play," McConnell said on September 10, 2013, in a Senate floor speech after laying out in detail how he thought Obama had botched the issue. "There are just too many unanswered questions about our long-term strategy in Syria, including the fact that this proposal is utterly detached from a wider strategy to end the civil war there, and on the specific question of deterring the use of chemical weapons, the president’s proposal appears to be based on a contradiction...Either we will strike targets that threaten the stability of the regime — something the president says he does not intend to do — or we will execute a strike so narrow as to be a mere demonstration," McConnell said, saying the lack of a clear plan was a serious problem.[58]

"We cannot ignore the unintended consequences of our actions," he added.[58]

GOP win

At an event sponsored by the FreedomWorks PAC on February 10, 2014, Bevin asserted that McConnell could not win a general election.[59] At the event, Bevin claimed that he would be only Republican who could beat Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

“We run a tremendous risk of losing this seat in Kentucky to someone who does not represent Kentucky values. We run the risk of losing this seat because of a sense of apathy and a sense of fatigue for the career politician that is my opponent in this primary, Mitch McConnell,” Bevin said.[59]

Campaign contributions

Matt Bevin

Third quarter 2013

Matt Bevin raised $222,000 in the third quarter of 2013, in addition to a $600,000 personal loan.[72]

Personal wealth

Bevin filed his personal financial wealth report in November 2013.[73] The reported showed millions in cash and assets that were ready to be loaned or contributed to his campaign, and included $1 million to $5 million in a Bank of America checking account and $500,0001 to $1 million in a Commonwealth Bank & Trust money market account.[73] In total, the report found that Bevin had between roughly $10 million and $50 million.[73]

Mitch McConnell

Third quarter 2013

McConnell raised $2.3 million for his re-election bid in the third quarter of 2013, bringing his grand total for the cycle to $17.7 million.[74]

The 2013 third quarter is McConnell's strongest quarter to date, with him ending the quarter with about $10 million cash on hand from nearly 6,000 donors.[74]

"We are running a presidential-level campaign designed to withstand the millions of dollars in attack ads coming from out-of-state groups and deliver Senator McConnell's message directly to Kentucky voters," campaign manager Jesse Benton said in the statement on October 11, 2013.[74]

Second quarter 2013

Incumbent Mitch McConnell raised $2.2 million in the second quarter of 2013, growing his 2014 campaign account to $9.6 million, as of July 11, 2013.[75][76]

According to reports, in 2014 Mitch McConnell’s re-election bid may result in the first Senate contest to pass the $100 million mark.[77]

In 2008, McConnell spent slightly more than $21 million — including a $2 million personal loan — to beat Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford, who pumped nearly $8.6 million of his own money into the race.[77]

In August 2013, McConnell was already ahead of his 2008 fundraising pace, having collected nearly $14 million for the 2014 election, and with $9.6 million cash-on-hand.[77] Unlike in 2008, McConnell will face a primary challenge from wealthy businessman Matt Bevin.[77] While it’s unclear how much of his own money Bevin will spend, those who have done some digging into his wealth — he had yet to file financial disclosure statements for his Senate bid as of August 2013 — believe that he has the capacity to put several million dollars into the race.[77]

McConnell allies and other Republican observers well versed in fundraising estimate that Sen. McConnell will end up raising and spending somewhere between $30 million and $35 million battling Bevin in the primary and Grimes in the general election.[77]

Pro McConnell super PAC

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a pro-Mitch McConnell super PAC, raised $1.2 million between the time it was created in April 2013 through July 2013, bringing in donations from big names such as Donald Trump and deceased megadonor Bob Perry.[78]

Trump contributed $50,000 and Perry, who died in April 2013, gave $100,000, according to reports filed July 28, 2013, with the Federal Election Commission. “We looked into this and found a clerical error in the report,” Caleb Crosby, treasurer for the group, said. “Our records reflect that we actually received the check on April 12. We have amended the report to reflect the correct information.”

Other major Republican donors who gave to the super PAC include John Childs, a private-equity investor who gave $4.2 million in the 2012 election cycle, and Philip Geier, who gave nearly $2 million in 2012.[78]

The super PAC, as of July 2013, spent $370,000, most of which went toward media placement to benefit McConnell. At the end of July 2013, it had more than $800,000 in the bank.[78]

Progress Kentucky

The controversial super PAC Progress Kentucky, whose officials were investigated for bugging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office, announced in August 2013 that the Federal Election Commission approved its request to shut down.[79]

The group — which attracted plenty of national media attention — ultimately failed to raise enough campaign cash to be a viable force in the Kentucky Senate race.[79]

One of the group’s officials came under investigation after reportedly bragging to a local Democratic official that the group had bugged McConnell's office.[79] A tape of a secret strategy session where McConnell and his operatives discussed potential opponents was published in Mother Jones in early 2013.[79]

The bugging was only the latest controversy from the group. The super PAC first attracted national attention for a racially charged tweet about McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao.[79] The tweet alleged that Chao, who is Chinese-American, was advising McConnell on the outsourcing of jobs to China.[79] After the McConnell campaign accused the PAC of race-bating, the PAC apologized and erased the offending tweet.[79]

As of their last campaign finance report from the second quarter of 2013, Progress Kentucky raised just over $14,000. As a super PAC it was allowed to collect unlimited sums of campaign cash.[79] The group had just over $1,000 in the bank at the end of June 2013.[79]


Kentucky Republican Contested Primary
Endorsement/Contribution Mitch McConnell Matt Bevin
TheTeaParty.net May 2013
The Madison Project July 28, 2013
Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) October 12, 2013
The Senate Conservatives Fund October 18, 2013
Marco Rubio (R-FL) October 20, 2013
John Kemper
(Former Republican Nominee for Kentucky Auditor)
November 7, 2013
Kentucky Federation of College Republicans November 12, 2013
Larry Forgy
(Former Republican Gubernatorial Nominee)
November 12, 2013
Huck PAC December 2, 2013
Angela Minter
(Executive Director of Sisters for Life)
January 20, 2014
FreedomWorks January 22, 2014
The National Federation of Independent Business February 14, 2014
Mandy Connell
(Conservative talk radio show host)
March 5, 2014
National Rifle Association April 12, 2014

Matt Bevin

  • The Madison Project, a conservative fundraising group headed by former Rep. Jim Ryun, announced its endorsement of Matt Bevin on July 28, 2013.[80] The group praised Bevin’s candidacy in a letter to activists and donors as someone poised to storm “the decaying castle of the GOP establishment for millions of conservatives.”[80][81]
    • “As a self-made successful businessman, Matt Bevin understands that the failed leadership in the Republican Party cannot be fixed with the very elements that precipitated its failure,” they wrote.
    • Madison Project also blasted McConnell’s record in the GOP leadership, including his role in negotiating a deal to raise the national debt limit in 2011 and his handling of the immigration debate. “Sen. McConnell quietly encouraged Sen. Rubio to join the Gang of Eight to ensure that the amnesty bill would pass, albeit without his public support,” the group wrote. “Despite the fact that this was the most onerous bill to come to the floor since ObamaCare and despite his status as GOP leader, Sen. McConnell failed to deliver a single floor speech against the bill.”[80]
  • Former Republican Nominee for Kentucky Auditor John Kemper endorsed Bevin on November 7, 2013.[83]
  • Former Republican Gubernatorial Nominee Larry Forgy endorsed Bevin on November 12, 2013.[84]
  • Angela Minter, Executive Director of Sisters for Life, endorsed Bevin on January 20, 2014.[85]
  • FreedomWorks endorsed Bevin on January 22, 2014. In the endorsement, it embraced Bevin as the more fiscally sound choice and criticized incumbent Mitch McConnell for “helping the Democrats” fund Obamacare in 2013.[86]
    • “He orchestrated the McConnell-Reid sellout bargain to increase the debt limit and fully fund a broken health care law, getting a $1.2 billion ‘special project kickback’ in the process,” said FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe. “Kentucky deserves better, and looking at the dropping poll numbers for McConnell, there’s no reason to settle."[86]
  • Conservative talk radio show host Mandy Connell endorsed Bevin on March 5, 2014.[87]

Mitch McConnell

  • Huck PAC endosed Mitch McConnell on December 2, 2013.[88]
  • TheTeaParty.net, a national tea party group, declared in May 2013 its support for McConnell in his 2014 re-election bid.[89]
  • Senator Rand Paul declared his support for incumbent Mitch McConnell in his primary battle against challenger Matt Bevin.[90] In response to Bevin's decision to challenge McConnell he said, “I’m not giving him encouragement or discouragement. It’s a free country and anyone who wants to run can. I have endorsed Sen. McConnell.” As the election progresses Paul increasingly must perform a careful balancing act: Show complete support for McConnell, while avoiding alienating the same tea party supporters who helped him in 2010 and whom he’ll need in 2016.[90]
  • The Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) endorsed McConnell on October 12, 2013.[92]
  • Florida Senator Marco Rubio announced on October 20, 2013, his endorsement for McConnell over Matt Bevin, his tea party challenger.[82]
    • When asked if he supports Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Rubio answered, "I do support Sen. McConnell's bid for re-election. I think he's trying to lead our conference. It's a diverse conference with a lot of different opinions. That's a tough job to begin with. And of course, he's got to represent his own state."[82]
  • The Kentucky Federation of College Republicans endorsed McConnell on November 12, 2013.[93]
  • The National Federation of Independent Business endorsed McConnell on February 14, 2014.[94]



Check from Woody Allen

On February 10, 2014, The Kentucky Republican Party called on Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) to return a $500 contribution from filmmaker Woody Allen, who faces renewed child molestation allegations from his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow.[96] Allen wrote a $500 check to Grimes's campaign on September 26, 2013.[96]

The group also noted that Grimes also took money from a Democratic state Representative who has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment.[96]

“If she doesn’t return the donations, we can only assume she either condones sexual harassment and disgustingly inappropriate behavior in the workplace, or she’s more concerned with her liberal allies’ campaign cash than the women of Kentucky,” Kentucky Republican Party spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper said in a statement.[96]

Stumbo's comments

Greg Stumbo's remarks at a January 16, 2014, event for Lundergan Grimes.

At a campaign event for Alison Lundergan Grimes on January 16, 2014, Kentucky Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo likened defeating incumbent Mitch McConnell to liberating Europe from Nazi control.[97]

“It reminded me of the feeling our troops must have had when they liberated the European nations after World War II. Can you imagine what it felt like that you were liberating a country? Well, you’re about to liberate your state from the worst reign of misabuse that we’ve seen in the last 30 years” Stumbo said[97]

Republican candidate Matt Bevin responded to the remarks in a statement on January 20, 2014.

“Despite my call to elevate the tenor of this campaign’s debate to something higher than that of a typical race for eighth-grade class president, the other candidates in this race have continued to ignore the issues. From noise about Nazis, to protective eyewear, to photoshop and Obama girl, Mitch McConnell and Alison Grimes are insulting each other and all Kentuckians by ignoring what really matters,” Bevin said.[97]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[98] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. McConnell voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[99]

McConnell statement

See also: United States budget debate, 2013#Government Shutdown and Default Prevention Act

In a statement McConnell said, "the effects of this completely unnecessary shutdown will have a real impact on my constituents. And I will donate my paycheck to charity for as long as Senate Democrats deprive hardworking Americans of their paychecks during this completely unnecessary shutdown.” An aide added that McConnell plans to donate compensation earned during the shutdown to Wayside Christian Mission in Louisville.[100]

Post-shutdown fundraiser

At a National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser in October 2013, McConnell said that the shutdown was "not conservative policy" and reiterated that he always believed that "this strategy could not and would not work." He attended the fundraiser with over a dozen Senate Republicans.[101]

Coal industry

Green-minded groups and donors may face a difficult decision in 2014 over whether to support Alison Lundergan Grimes, stemming from her controversial views on environmental issues.[102]

Lundergan Grimes has criticized President Barack Obama for taking “direct aim at Kentucky’s coal industry” and faulted proposed EPA carbon dioxide controls of existing power plants.[102] Kentucky is the nation’s third top coal producing state, and one that derives nearly all its electricity from the fuel.[102]

Despite her viewpoints, many top Democratic donors are choosing to still support her 2014 campaign.[102]

“It is far better to win the Senate than have every senator on the same page,” Susie Tompkins Buell, a top Democratic donor, said in an email after an October 2013 fundraiser she and her husband, Mark, held for Grimes at their California home. “We can’t always be idealistic. Practicality is the political reality.”[102]

McConnell coal ad

McConnell's February 2014 ad focused on coal.

McConnell's campaign released an ad on February 27, 2014, centered around coal. The ad featured McConnell saying that anti-coal rhetoric in Washington needs to stop and he vowed to lead the opposition to any federal efforts that would hurt the coal sector.[103]

Chamber of Commerce ad

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released an ad on December 2, 2013, about coal, a key issue in the 2014 race.[104]

"Coal means jobs in Kentucky. While the EPA and bureaucrats try to kill Kentucky's coal industry, Mitch McConnell is fighting back, fighting hard," the narrator said in the ad.[104]

The ad also added that McConnell was "working to block the EPA and shut down the bureaucrats," and "making sure our coal industry remains strong."

In response, Grimes wrote an op-ed piece for a local paper stating that McConnell "has accomplished next to nothing for the coal industry.He talks the game, but the game he plays is about as dangerous for coal miners as a rotten mine timber."[104]

The group released a second ad on February 18, 2014. The ad described McConnell as fighting against “Obamacare” and for Kentucky’s future.[105] While the group did not disclose the exact amount of the ad buy, it was described as "significant."[105]

Second amendment

On November 8, 2013, Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) invited Mitch McConnell (R) to go shooting with her. The invitation came after McConnell announced the launch of a coalition of gun rights supporters, "Sportsmen for Team Mitch."[106]

The NRA also indicated that same day that it plans to engage heavily in the race on behalf of McConnell and presented him a "Defender of Freedom" award.[106]

“As an NRA member, my strong support for the Second Amendment is unquestioned. I am proud of Kentucky's long-held gun ownership, sporting and hunting traditions," Lundergan Grimes said in her invitation to McConnell.[106]

"In the Senate, I will protect my fellow Kentuckians' right to keep and bear arms. Whenever he's not busy pandering to Washington lobbyists, I welcome Senator McConnell to come shoot with me at the range any day,” she added.[106]

Fair pay

Lundergan Grimes criticized Mitch McConnell for claiming in November 2013 he has worked for fair pay for women throughout his career.[107]

In a November 2013 interview with the Associated Press, a McConnell aide said he was a longtime advocate for equal pay.[107]

"As the father of three daughters, fair pay for women is more than a talking point for Sen. McConnell," campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said. "It's something he's worked to achieve his entire career by setting an example for others and promoting thoughtful policies to ensure talent overcomes bias."[107]

However, McConnell twice voted against both the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act before Congress ultimately passed the Fair Pay Act.[107]

"As Kentucky's first woman Senator, Alison Lundergan Grimes will continue being a staunch advocate for women and their families," Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton wrote a memo on November 26, 2013. "She will seek common ground and work across the aisle for solutions that put Kentucky and our country back on the right track. The contrast with Mitch McConnell could not be starker."

On November 26, 2013, Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of the fair pay legislation, announced her support for Grimes in the 2014 Senate race.[107]

"After my lengthy battle with pay inequity, I was honored and humbled to lend my name to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act—landmark legislation that makes it easier for women to file pay discrimination lawsuits," she wrote in a fundraising email for the Grimes campaign. "But this is only an important first step in closing the gender wage gap. Yet, Senator McConnell voted against it. Time and again, McConnell has made clear where he stands on issues important to women and their families: in the wrong."[107]

Violence Against Women Act

McConnell’s re-election campaign touted his support for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), despite his consistent record of voting against the anti-domestic violence legislation.[108]

A press packet that McConnell’s spokeswoman distributed to reporters at an event on August 30, 2013, titled “Women For Team Mitch” features testimonials from Kentucky women.[108] A quote, attributed to a woman named Angela Leet in Jefferson County, read, “Mitch was the co-sponsor of the original Violence Against Women Act- and continues to advocate for stronger policies to protect women. I am proud to call him my senator.”[108]

McConnell did cosponsor a version of the Violence Against Woman Act in 1991, which never received a Senate vote.[108] By the time the measure came up again in 1993, McConnell was no longer a cosponsor, and in fact voted against final passage of the bill. In 2005, it was renewed by an unrecorded voice vote. In 2012, McConnell voted against the Senate-passed VAWA, which died in the House. Then early in 2013, he again voted against VAWA re-authorization, which passed the Senate by a vote of 78-22, and eventually passed the House and was signed into law.[108] McConnell has supported a scaled-back GOP alternative to VAWA which excludes protections for gays, Native Americans and undocumented immigrants who suffer from domestic abuse.[108]

Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes accused McConnell of deception. “The women of Kentucky will not be fooled by Senator McConnell’s failed leadership and deception when it comes to issues important to women and their families,” Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton said. “His actions read loud and clear: McConnell repeatedly voted against equal pay for equal work, the Violence Against Women Act and now turns to lies to cover his shameful record.”[108]


On April 18, 2013, McConnell's campaign released a new ad pointing to a series of “dirty” attacks by Democratic outside groups.[109] It was the second occasion McConnell’s campaign launched an ad portraying him as the victim.[109] After the Progress Kentucky super PAC got in trouble for racially insensitive tweets about McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, his campaign launched another ad featuring Chao.[109]

In October 2013, Grimes released an ad accusing McConnell of "light[ing] the house on fire and then claim[ing] credit for putting it out."[110]

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership June 2013 ad, "Rubber Stamp."

McConnell's April 2013, ad, "How Dirty."

Lundergan Grimes' October 28, 2013, ad, "Fire."

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a super PAC backing Mitch McConnell’s re-election bid, launched a round of TV ads on June 25, 2013 aimed at dissuading Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes from entering the race.[111][112] Grimes announced her candidacy on July 1, 2013.[113]

On September 27, 2013, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership released another campaign ad attacking McConnell's general election challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes. The ad, costing approximately $75,000, ran statewide.[114] It touts McConnell’s opposition to Obamacare before making the connection between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Grimes.[114]

“That’s why Harry Reid personally recruited liberal Alison Grimes to run against McConnell, and now Grimes is raising money with Harry Reid in Las Vegas,” the ad’s says. “The choice is clear: Grimes and Reid, pushing Obamacare on us, while members of Congress get a bailout; or Mitch McConnell, a fighter for Kentucky.”[114]

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership ad, "Anarchists."

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership ad, "Whatever."

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership ad, "Burned."

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership released an ad in November 2013 tying Grimes to the President Barack Obama's controversial healthcare promise. The cost to air the ad on broadcast and cable television is $340,000.[115]

The ad begins with video of Obama vowing that under the Affordable Care Act, “If you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep your plan” — before citing an NBC News report suggesting the administration was aware all along that many Americans would have to transition to new insurance coverage.[115]

“And how about Obama supporter Alison Grimes?” the ad continues. “Her credibility’s burned, too. Fact-checkers are smoking out her exaggerations … Grimes and Obama: When liberals don’t tell the truth, Kentucky gets burned.”[115]

Kentucky Opportunity Coalition

Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a 501(c)(4) group aligned with the super PAC Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, announced on December 16, 2013, a $382,000 ad buy tying McConnell to Rand Paul. The ad attempts to show the two “working together to stop Obamacare.”[116]

“For Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, fighting Obamacare isn’t about politics. It’s a fight for the Kentucky families who are losing their health coverage,” the ad said. “McConnell and Paul are working together to stop Obamacare — to stop the Washington liberals who are forcing families out of plans that include the doctors they trust.”[116]

Alison Lundergan Grimes

McConnell's mocking ad, "What Rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes?"

In a Web video posted on July 2, 2013, McConnell's campaign took aim at Grimes by making her name the punchline of the video. The nearly two-minute video asks, "What rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes?"

McConnell's video responds to its own question with these zingers: "Not ready for prime time," "Sticks to the party line," and "Left wing mime."[117]

The video is a reminder of Grimes' own ad from her successful 2011 race in Kentucky that featured her two grandmothers, Elsie Case and Thelma Lundergan McHugh.[117] In that ad, the grandmas are seen typing away at laptops trying to come up with ads for the candidate. They introduce Grimes by her full name and joked, "It's a long name." At the end of the 2011 ad, Case — Grimes' maternal grandmother — asks, "What rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes?"[117]


It was announced on July 19, 2013, that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee made an online ad buy against McConnell.[76] The ads aimed at hitting McConnell as the “guardian of gridlock,” pointing to the Senate GOP’s frequent filibuster threats.[76]

That same day pro-McConnell Super PAC Kentuckians for Strong Leadership launched a new ad featuring a clip of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) saying she agrees with the national Democratic Party’s platform.[76]

Senate Majority PAC

Senate Majority PAC launched its second ad of the campaign, as part of its pledge to meet a pro-McConnell super-PAC ad-for-ad.[118] The 30-second ad titled "Guardian of Gridlock" started running across the state on July 23, 2013, at a cost of about $270,000. It is part of the Senate Majority PAC's "30 Years is Too Long Campaign" against McConnell that started in June 2013.[119] The ad hammers McConnell for calling himself "the guardian of gridlock," and closely echoes attacks from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has launched its own ongoing campaign hitting McConnell for congressional inactivity.[118]

Alison Lundergan Grimes July 25, 2013, ad, "The Campaign Begins"

Senate Majority PAC's July 23, 2013 ad, "Guardian of Gridlock."

"He calls himself the 'guardian of gridlock,' grinding the Senate to a halt even when it hurts Kentucky," a narrator says in the ad.[118]

On September 30, 2013, the Senate Majority PAC announced its radio ad as part of its ongoing “30 Years Is Too Long Campaign.” The ad highlights the disastrous record of failure and gridlock that Mitch McConnell has racked up in his 10,000 days as a U.S. Senator. The ad also fights back against the latest misleading advertising from “Kentuckians for Strong Leadership.”[120]

Alison Lundergan Grimes

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes signaled the beginning of her campaign on July 25, 2013, releasing a video that invited voters to a rally in Lexington and warning Sen. Mitch McConnell that “I don’t scare easy.”[121][122][123][124]

The video, which runs nearly 4 minutes, is filmed in the same room where Grimes recorded an ad during her 2011 Secretary of State race that featured her two grandmothers writing a “commercial” for her campaign and brought her national attention. In that ad, one of her grandmothers asks, “What rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes?”[121] Since her July 1 announcement, McConnell’s campaign and the Kentucky GOP have accused her of going into hiding and repeatedly asked, “Where’s Alison?”[121] Grimes responds in the ad saying, "Your campaign wants to play silly games about where I am and where I stand. Well I'm right here in Kentucky senator, where I'll be holding you accountable."[125]

McConnell v. Bevin

McConnell's campaign launched its second ad against primary challenger Matt Bevin on August 5, 2013.[126] The ad hits Bevin for tax issues and labels him “Bailout Bevin.”[126][127][128][129]

Matt Bevin's August 7, 2013, ad, "Finest"

McConnell's second ad against Matt Bevin, "Delinquent"

Bevin's campaign was dismissive of the ad, characterizing it as an attempt to distract from McConnell's record. Bevin spokeswoman Sarah Durand said that the attacks on Bevin's work with his company reflected that McConnell was "out of touch" with Americans.[127]

"If Mitch McConnell had ever run a business or worked in the private sector, he would recognize what a commendable thing Matt did: He took a nearly bankrupt company, turned it around, saved American jobs and kept a historic bell manufacturing company in America. Sadly, Mitch McConnell is so out of touch, he doesn’t even understand that saving American jobs is a good thing," Durand said.[127]

McConnell’s campaign began running ads against Bevin before he even launched his campaign.[126]

In response, Bevin launched his own attack ad on August 7, 2013, calling McConnell's attacks towards him hypocritical in light of McConnell's support of taxpayer bailouts for Wall Street.[130][131]

The 30-second TV spot will run statewide, according to Bevin's campaign. The amount of the ad buy was not disclosed. The ad's narrator says that after voting for bailouts over his 30 years in the Senate, "slinging mud is all Sen. McConnell has left."[130][131]

On August 12, 2013, McConnell released a 75-second YouTube video built around footage of Matt Bevin telling Democrats during the Fancy Farm picnic in early August 2013, “We’re on the same team here, I’ll tell you that much.”[132]

The video has no narrator. The only voice that appears is Bevin’s, telling Democrats on a loop that “we’re on the same team” as a series of text appears on screen.[132]

The video also highlights a story noting that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has been highlighting Bevin’s candidacy, “trying to make trouble” for McConnell.[132]

The McConnell campaign again highlights Bevin working with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, saying, “When Bevin’s Connecticut company needed help, he turned to Washington’s most liberal senator…And then, Bevin’s companies got $200,000 in taxpayer bailouts.”[132]

American Chemistry Council's August 2013 ad, "Support for Sen. Mitch McConnell"

McConnell's Youtube ad against Matt Bevin, "Unreliable"

The video, which McConnell's campaign officials have said they might turn into a television ad, ends by saying that “Bailout Bevin [is] not a Kentucky conservative.”[132]

Bevin's campaign said McConnell is trying to distract from his own record. “Mitch McConnell can make all the misleading web videos in the world, but it doesn’t change the fact that he voted for amnesty three times, the Wall Street bailout, the Fannie and Freddie bailout, debt limit increases, massive tax increases, and pay raises for himself, and now, he’s refusing to defund Obamacare,” Bevin spokeswoman Sarah Durand said.[132]


The American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced on August 13, 2013, that the group is spending $400,000 on commercials boosting Mitch McConnell.[133]

A spokeswoman for the Washington-based association of chemical companies confirms that they are making a six-figure buy in August 2013 to run issue ads highlighting the Republican’s “work to promote economic growth and policies that are important to American manufacturers.”[133] In the ads, McConnell is presented as a strong supporter of new energy production, small business and family farms.[133]

“These days in Washington, there are people who like to talk, and leaders like Mitch McConnell who know how to get results,” the narrator says. “Less government, more jobs. Call and tell Mitch McConnell his leadership in Washington is making a difference here at home.”[133]

The group, led by former Rep. Cal Dooley, is running similar ads this summer in support of Sen. Kay Hagan, Sen. Tom Udall, Rep. Fred Upton and Rep. Mike Simpson.[133]

The McConnell spot is running in the Louisville, Lexington and Bowling Green markets.[133]


The Senate Conservatives Fund ad, "Stop Amnesty."

The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint, joined the primary campaign against Mitch McConnell.[134] On August 16, 2013, SCF announced they were planning a "statewide media campaign in Kentucky" to make McConnell "feel the heat" and support a conservative effort to defund Obamacare.[134]

"Mitch McConnell is telling people he opposes Obamacare while he refuses to oppose its funding. We can't let him have it both ways. If he funds it, he's for it," said Matt Hoskins, the executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, in an email seeking funds for the campaign.[134]

SCF reportedly also purchased $50,000 of national radio and television ad time to attack McConnell for his lack of fortitude on border security and for supporting "amnesty" for undocumented immigrants. The ad asks viewers to call McConnell and urge him him to kill the legislation. "We don't want excuses," reads a statement from the group. "We want results."[135] It has also launched a petition at StopAmnestyMitch.com.[135]

The SCF announced on August 26, 2013, that it is spending nearly $50,000 on a 60-second commercial that will begin airing on August 27, 2013, in Kentucky, where McConnell is locked in a tough race for a sixth term.[136]

"Republicans in Congress can stop Obamacare by refusing to fund it, but Senator Mitch McConnell refuses to lead the fight," says the ad.[136][137]

"The Obamacare bill stinks, and holding your nose won't make it any better," the commercial says, referring to an incident earlier in August 2013.[136][137]

In August 2013 the audio of a January 9, 2013 telephone conversation revealed that Jesse Benton, McConnell's campaign manager, said he was "holding my nose" while working for the candidate. Benton later said in a statement that he believes in McConnell and is 100 percent committed to his re-election.[136]

The Senate Conservatives Fund ad, "Nothing."

The SCF has not endorsed in the Kentucky GOP primary, but in a statement in July 2013, executive director Matt Hoskins said the group was open to backing Bevin.[137][136] The group said it was "waiting to see if the grassroots in Kentucky unite" behind Bevin.[136]

In early September 2013 the SCF launched $340,000 in television ads attacking McConnell for not taking a hardline stance on defunding the health care law.[138]The television ad will air from September 6-17, 2013.[138] It comes after nearly $47,000 was spent in August 2013 attacking McConnell in radio ads.[138]

“Obamacare starts in October but Congress can stop its funding,” the ad says. “What’s Mitch McConnell doing? Nothing. McConnell is the Senate Republican leader, but he refuses to lead on defunding Obamacare. What good is a leader like that?”

The group has been pressuring members of Congress not to vote for any spending bills this fall that include funding for the Affordable Care Act.[138] McConnell has not signed a letter by Mike Lee that pledges to oppose any continuing resolution that funds the law.[138] More than a dozen Republican senators have signed on.[138]

“If there was ever a time when Kentucky needed Mitch McConnell to deliver, it is now,” SCF Director Matt Hoskins said in a statement. “We hope he listens to the voters and finds the courage to lead.”[138]

Senate Conservatives Action October 2013 ad, "Kentucky."

Senate Conservatives Action, an arm of Senate Conservatives Fund, which endorsed Matt Bevin over McConnell in the Republican primary, released an ad costing $330,000 on October 29, 2013, attacking McConnell's vote for the compromise bill he helped craft to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling.[139] Some conservatives were dissatisfied with the final compromise bill because it made no major changes to the health-care law known as "Obamacare."

"Conservatives asked Mitch McConnell to lead the fight against Obamacare. He didn't listen," said the narrator of the ad. "Instead, McConnell helped Barack Obama and Harry Reid fund Obamacare."[139]

McConnell's campaign responded by saying, "When Mitch McConnell was rallying conservatives to fight Obamacare the fundraising group responsible for these ads was working day and night to ensure Barack Obama's majority in the Senate. You get an idea of what team the Senate Conservatives Fund is on when you realize that there are scores of Democrats who actually voted for Obamacare up for re-election and this group, purporting to support conservative causes, is investing their well-intentioned donors money into attacking the man responsible for leading the opposition to the law."[139]


The Progressive Change Campaign Committee began running a new television ad on August 15, 2013, attacking Mitch McConnell's stance on Social Security.[140]

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee August 2013 ad, "Tell Mitch McConnell: ExpandSocialSecurity.com."

The ad features Kirk Gillenwaters, a Kentucky labor activist who previously appeared in a radio ad against McConnell in 2008.[140]

"I started working at the Ford plant in Louisville when I was 18 years old. After decades of hard work, I have some injuries. We work hard for these companies, and we're promised a secure retirement in return," Gillenwaters says. "Retirement is supposed to be promises made, promises kept. But our pensions are being cut and we need Social Security. When Senator Mitch McConnell supports cutting Social Security, he's breaking a promise -- and he's hurting our families. Senator McConnell -- if anything, we need to expand Social Security benefits, not cut them."[140]

The group spent just $21,000 on airtime, and the ad ran for approximately one week on all major Louisville broadcast stations, according to PCCC spokesman Matt Wall.[140]

McConnell, like President Barack Obama, has voiced support for a proposal called chained CPI, which would reduce the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security, effectively cutting benefits for future retirees.[140]

"I think a place to talk is on things like chained CPI," McConnell said in an interview in July 2013.[140]

MIT controversy

The Madison Project's first radio ad, "Would a Conservative?"

Mitch McConnell's August 20, 2013, ad against Matt Bevin, "M.I.T."

McConnell launched a TV ad buy against primary challenger Matt Bevin that “will be in the six-figure range,” according to his campaign on August 20, 2013. Back in March 2013, reports circulated that Bevin had “come under scrutiny for claiming educational ties to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Bevin’s LinkedIn page indicated he was an MIT graduate or graduate of an MIT-affiliated program but school officials say the three-week seminar he attended has no formal link to the school."[141][142]The 30-second ad references the report as a female narrator asks, “Can you believe Bailout Bevin on anything?”[141] Bevin's LinkedIn page has been revised to clarify that he did not graduate from MIT or an MIT-affiliated program.[142]

The Madison Project

The conservative group, the Madison Project, launched its first radio ad criticizing Mitch McConnell for his voting record on August 26, 2013.[80][143]

Led by former Rep. Jim Ryun (R), the Madison Project endorsed McConnell’s primary challenger Matt Bevin in July 2013, and is running what they say will be the first of many statewide ads against the incumbent.[80]

The ad is a relatively small $30,000 ad buy, but the 60-second radio ad slams McConnell’s votes on immigration reform, Wall Street bailouts and the debt ceiling.[80]

“For years, McConnell has succeeded in playing the old Washington double-game of talking the conservative talk at home, while undermining conservatives in the Senate,” the Madison Project’s Drew Ryun said in a statement.[80]

In response, McConnell's released a statement.[144] "All you need to know about this group is that they're supporting a tax delinquent bailout artist who lies on his resume over the most conservative Republican Leader in modern history," says McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore. "Apparently Matt Bailout Bevin has a small cadre of fringe friends in Washington who have concluded that conservative governance isn't half as important as making money off his quixotic Senate campaign even though polling shows Mitch winning by a staggering 68-21 margin."[144]

Patriot Majority PAC

The Patriot Majority PAC announced an ad buy targeting Mitch McConnell on October 30, 2013.[145] The ad notes that the government shutdown cost the country $24 billion and puts the blame for the shutdown on the GOP leaders.[145] The group spent $260,000 on the ad in Kentucky.[145]

The Patriot Majority PAC's October 2013 ad, "Smoke."

The Patriot Majority PAC's June 2013 ad, "Switch."

Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce released an ad on December 2, 2013, about coal, a key issue in the race.[104]

"Coal means jobs in Kentucky. While the EPA and bureaucrats try to kill Kentucky's coal industry, Mitch McConnell is fighting back, fighting hard," the narrator said in the ad.[104]

The ad also added that McConnell was "working to block the EPA and shut down the bureaucrats," and "making sure our coal industry remains strong."

In response, Grimes wrote an op-ed piece for a local paper stating that McConnell "has accomplished next to nothing for the coal industry. He talks the game, but the game he plays is about as dangerous for coal miners as a rotten mine timber."[104]

The group released a second ad on February 18, 2014. The ad described McConnell as fighting against “Obamacare” and for Kentucky’s future.[105] While the group did not disclose the exact amount of the ad buy, it was described as "significant."[105]

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce February 2014 ad, "U.S. Chamber Supports Mitch McConnell."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce December 2013 ad, "Fighting Hard for Kentucky Coal."

McConnell's January 2014 ad about sick workers, "Cares."

Sick plant workers

McConnell's campaign released an ad, "Cares," about sick plant workers on January 22, 2014.[146] The ad featured a Paducah Energy Worker and survivor of throat cancer, who praised McConnell for his efforts to help sick workers.[146][147]

"These days, I don't have much of a voice. But I and so many Kentuckians have been helped by someone with a strong voice," said the worker.[146]

Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes's campaign noted that McConnell ran a similar ad featuring the same worker in 2008.[146]


General election

McConnell v. Grimes (May 2014 - Present)
Poll Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) Ed Marksberry (I)Mitch McConnell (R)David Patterson (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
October 15-19, 2014
September 30 - October 2, 2014
Mellman Group
September 4-7, 2014
Public Opinion Strategies
September 1-3, 2014
Public Policy Polling
August 7-10, 2014
July 5-24, 2014
July 18-23, 2014
Gravis/Human Events
July 17-20, 2014
Voter/Consumer Research
June 22-25, 2014
Public Policy Polling
June 20-22, 2014
Public Opinion Strategies
June 14-17, 2014
Magellan Strategies
June 4-5, 2014
Rasmussen Reports
May 28-29, 2014
Wenzel Strategies
May 23-24, 2014
May 14-16, 2014
AVERAGES 44% 0.27% 45.93% 1.53% 7.6% +/-3.62 869
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org
McConnell v. Grimes (December 2013 - April 2014)
Poll Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) Ed Marksberry (I)Mitch McConnell (R)UndecidedSomeone elseMargin of ErrorSample Size
Hickman Analytics
April 24-30, 2014
Gravis Marketing/Human Events
April 15-17, 2014
Kaiser Foundation
April 8-15, 2014
Public Policy Polling
April 1-2, 2014
Wenzel Strategies
February 8-11, 2014
Survey USA
January 30-February 4, 2014
Rasmussen Reports
January 29-30, 2014
Public Policy Polling
January 24-26, 2014
Gravis Marketing/Human Events
January 2, 2014
Public Policy Polling
December 12-15, 2013
AVERAGES 42.3% 1.7% 43.4% 11.2% 1.4% +/-3.98 896.4
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was tied with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes according to a May 2013 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Senate Majority PAC, the super PAC backing Democratic Senate candidates. The poll found McConnell and Grimes tied at 45 percent each.[148][149]

A poll from Wenzel Strategies conducted June 1-2, 2013 polled 623 people and found Mitch McConnell (R) ahead of Secretary of State Grimes 47 percent to 40 percent. McConnell beat former Miss America Heather French Henry 45 percent to 40 percent and beat Louisville environmental lawyer Tom Fitzgerald 46 percent to 29 percent according to the poll.[150][151]

Campaign forums

Sen. Mitch McConnell faced off against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes at the heavily anticipated 133rd Fancy Farm political forum on August 3, 2013.[152] The candidates both spoke at the political forum that was broadcast nationwide on C-SPAN and online by Kentucky Education Television.[152]

McConnell, who spoke first, avoided direct attacks on his opponent, instead speaking in broad strokes saying, “Over the next 15 months, we are going to decide what kind of America we want … Barack Obama’s vision for America or Kentucky’s. Kentucky’s voice is the voice of opposition to the Obama agenda, and I’m proud of that. That’s why every liberal in America is out to beat us next year.”[152]

Grimes, who followed Rep. Ed Whitfield (R) on stage, took aim at McConnell, saying, “Sen. McConnell is the most unpopular Senator among Democrats but Republicans, as well...There’s a reason he’s so disliked. There is a disease of dysfunction in Washington, D.C., and after 30 years, Sen. McConnell is in the center of it. As long as he remains in D.C., D.C. will stand for dysfunctional capitol.”[152]

The event was the first public encounter between incumbent and challenger in the high-profile race and thrust the annual Fancy Farm picnic into the national spotlight.[152]

Campaign donors

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season.

Alison Lundergan Grimes

On October 23, 2013, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and his wife announced that they will host a fundraising reception for Lundergan Grimes on October 27, 2013.[159]

“Michael and I are proud to support Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate who are ready to work hard and bring common sense solutions to Washington, D.C.” Bennet’s wife, Susan Daggett, wrote in a message about the event, adding Lundergan Grimes is “as exciting a candidate as Kentucky has seen in years.”[159]

In the third quarter of 2013, her first three months in the race, she slightly outraised McConnell, bringing in $2.5 million to his $2.3 million.[159] Despite the third quarter fundraising McConnell still had more campaign funds overall, with $10 million cash on hand to her $2 million.[159]

In the first quarter of 2014, Grimes brought in $2.7 million--slightly more than McConnell's $2.4 million.[160][161]


Democratic candidates

Alison Lundergan Grimes

President Clinton's video endorsement for Alison Lundergan Grimes, "A Message from President Clinton."

Former President Bill Clinton pledged his support for Alison Lundergan Grimes in February 2014.[162][163] He attended a campaign event in Louisville for Alison Lundergan Grimes on February 25, 2014, where he reportedly helped her raise approximatley $700,000.[164][165]

“We are very excited to have President Clinton coming into town to make his first campaign stop of this election cycle...I was elated when he called and said he wanted to make this race his top priority,” Grimes said.[162]

Gov. Steve Beshear pledged his support for Alison Lundergan Grimes on July 9, 2013. In a press conference he stated, “I’m going to support Alison Lundergan Grimes for the U.S. Senate in every way that I can and whatever they want me to do, I’m going to be there to do. It is time to bring Mitch McConnell home. You know, after 30 years of obstruction and 30 years of do-nothing in the United States Senate, we need somebody up there that is going to represent Kentucky.”[166]

In a statement released August 21, 2013, EMILY's List released its endorsement for Lundergan Grimes.[167]Alison Lundergan Grimes is an energetic rising star, and her candidacy gives Kentuckians a chance to finally send a leader to Washington who puts families ahead of partisan politics,” said Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s List.[167] “She is an incredible leader who has fought for women and families by protecting victims of domestic violence, supporting state and local businesses, championing voting rights, and advocating for military personnel. Mitch McConnell is one of the least liked senators in the country for a reason – he’s hopelessly out-of-touch with the needs of his state. Alison is working tirelessly to make sure that Kentuckians’ voices are being heard. The EMILY’s List community – now more than two million members – is excited to support the campaign of such a strong and dedicated public servant.”[167]

Black Eyed Peas singer, will.i.am, appeared at a fundraiser for Alison Lundergan Grimes on September 20, 2013.[168]

Nathan Smith, the former vice chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party and host of the fundraiser, said on September 5, 2013, “will. i.am is a modern entertainer and fresh and is passionate about the country. I saw him when he did an event at the inauguration [of Obama]. He offered his assistance to the [Grimes] campaign.”[168]

will.i.am previously appeared at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 in support of President Barack Obama’s re-election and made a music video titled “Yes We Can” in support of Obama’s campaign in 2008.[168]

On November 26, 2013, Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of the fair pay legislation, announced her support for Grimes in the 2014 Senate race.[107]

"After my lengthy battle with pay inequity, I was honored and humbled to lend my name to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act—landmark legislation that makes it easier for women to file pay discrimination lawsuits," she wrote in a fundraising email for the Grimes campaign. "But this is only an important first step in closing the gender wage gap. Yet, Senator McConnell voted against it. Time and again, McConnell has made clear where he stands on issues important to women and their families: in the wrong."[107]

Washington Post top 10 races

According to an analysis by The Washington Post, the U.S. Senate election in Kentucky was considered one of the top 10 Senate races of 2014. By the end of 2013, Grimes continued to impress with fundraising figures.[169]

Election history


U.S. Senate, Kentucky General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRand Paul 55.7% 755,706
     Democratic Jack Conway 44.2% 600,052
     Independent Billy Ray Wilson 0% 338
Total Votes 1,356,096


On November 4, 2008, Mitch McConnell won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Bruce Lunsford (D) in the general election.[170]

U.S. Senate, Kentucky General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMitch McConnell incumbent 53% 953,816
     Democratic Bruce Lunsford 47% 847,005
Total Votes 1,800,821

See also

External links


  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS FOR JULY 18, 2014," accessed August 5, 2014
  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 Senate Races," accessed August 5, 2014
  3. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  4. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  5. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  6. Kentucky State Board of Elections, "Voter Information Guide," accessed January 3, 2014
  7. Five Thirty Eight "Re-Election Is Likely for McConnell, but Not Guaranteed" Accessed July 8, 2013
  8. Washington Post "Businessman set to enter primary against McConnell" accessed July 22, 2013
  9. Copas for Senate, "Home," accessed January 25, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Kentucky Secretary of State Elections, "Candidate Filings," accessed January 28, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Public Policy Polling, "McConnell remains extremely unpopular," April 9, 2013
  12. WHAS "Grimes to challenge McConnell in 2014" accessed July 1, 2013 (dead link)
  13. Kentucky Secretary of State Elections, "Information for Burrel Charles Farnsley, Candidate for United State Senator," accessed January 28, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 WDRB "Ky. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announces Senate run" accessed July 3, 2013
  15. Courier Journal, "Sen. Mitch McConnell officially files for re-election," accessed January 13, 2014
  16. WPSD TV, "Libertarian candidate enters Senate race in Kentucky," accessed September 24, 2013
  17. Bennie J. Smith for U.S. Senate "Info" accessed July 3, 2013
  18. WFPL "Noise and Notes: Bennie J. Smith's Long Shot Quest to Retire Mitch McConnell" accessed July 5, 2013
  19. CNN.com, "Overalls In The Senate?," accessed October 21, 2013
  20. 20.0 20.1 ABC News "Potential McConnell Challenger to Announce Senate Intentions" accessed July 1, 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 WHAS TV, "Tea party activist says McConnell to face GOP primary challenger soon," accessed September 24, 2013
  22. Kentucky Secretary of State Elections, "Gurley L. Martin," accessed January 28, 2014
  23. Gurley Martin for Senate, "Home," accessed January 13, 2014
  24. cn|2 "Party of one? Republican Gurley L. Martin's 90th birthday plans include filing to challenge McConnell" accessed July 5, 2013
  25. Courier Journal, "Gurley Martin to run against Mitch McConnell for U.S. Senate," accessed January 13, 2014
  26. WFPL, "Ed Marksberry Announces Independent Bid for Kentucky U.S. Senate Race," accessed September 24, 2013
  27. ABC News "Former Miss America May Take On Mitch McConnell" accessed July 1, 2013
  28. The News Enterprise "Guthrie, Parrett not interested in challenging McConnell in 2014" accessed July 5, 2013
  29. Politico "Kentucky lawmaker earns name for himself by voting ‘no’" accessed July 5, 2013
  30. 30.0 30.1 Fox News "Ashley Judd running for Senate in Kentucky?" accessed February 15, 2013
  31. Bioguide, "Addison Mitchell McConnell," accessed April 29, 2014
  32. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named lowapp
  33. The Hill, "Candidates won’t commit to McConnell," accessed April 30, 2014
  34. Washington Post, "The Fix’s top 10 Senate races of 2014," accessed December 10, 2013
  35. National Journal, "Ranking the Top 5 Senators Vulnerable in 2014 Primaries," accessed December 31, 2013
  36. 36.0 36.1 Washington Post, "McConnell launches ad against soon-to-be primary opponent" Accessed July 24, 2013
  37. 37.0 37.1 The Washington Post "Matt Bevin launches campaign against McConnell" Accessed July 24, 2013
  38. News Observer, "McConnell, Bevin exchange attack ads," accessed February 20, 2014
  39. 39.0 39.1 Yahoo News, "Important Week in the Kentucky Senate Race as New Matt Bevin Ad Hits Mitch McConnell," accessed February 24, 2014
  40. YouTube, "Caving," accessed April 2, 2014
  41. The Hill, "Bevin hits McConnell for debt-limit increase," accessed April 2, 2014
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 Talking Points Memo, "Matt Bevin Puts Mitch McConnell In A Duke Jersey For New Ad (VIDEO)," accessed March 31, 2014
  43. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named mcapolgoize
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Politico, "Mitch McConnell campaign ad mistakes Duke for Kentucky," accessed March 25, 2014
  45. WFPL, "Mitch McConnell Campaign Ad Celebrates Kentucky's Basketball Dominance With Duke National Title," accessed March 26, 2014
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 Courier Journal, "University of Kentucky athletics to McConnell: Cease and desist," accessed March 26, 2014
  47. Politico, "Mitch McConnell campaign apologizes for ad," accessed March 26, 2014
  48. NPR, "What's With This Video Of McConnell Doing Stuff?," accessed March 31, 2014
  49. Roll Call, "Mitch McConnell Launches Ad for Final Month of Primary," accessed April 22, 2014
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 Kentucky.com, "Group to launch $1.8 million ad campaign supporting Mitch McConnell," accessed March 19, 2014
  51. Washington Post, "McConnell-aligned group launches seven-figure ad campaign with his footage," accessed March 24, 2014
  52. 52.0 52.1 WPSD Local 6, "New Kentucky death tax commercial," accessed April 2, 2014
  53. CBPP, "Myths and Realities about the Estate Tax," accessed April 2, 2014
  54. 54.0 54.1 Courier Journal, "Matt Bevin attended cockfighting rally, accessed April 5, 2014
  55. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named dockfighting
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 Politico, "Kentucky Senate race 2014: Matt Bevin, Mitch McConnell and TARP," accessed February 12, 2014
  57. Politico, "Senate primary challengers target GOP incumbents on Syria strikes," September 8, 2013
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 Huffington Post, "Syria Vote: Mitch McConnell Opposes Strike, Slams Obama (VIDEO)," accessed September 10, 2013
  59. 59.0 59.1 Politico, "Matt Bevin: Mitch McConnell can’t win in November," accessed February 11, 2014
  60. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  61. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  62. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  63. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 19, 2014
  64. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 19, 2014
  65. Federal Election Commission, "Pre-Primary," accessed May 15, 2014
  66. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed October 15, 2014
  67. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 20, 2014
  68. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed November 13, 2013
  69. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed November 13, 2013
  70. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed November 13, 2013
  71. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed November 13, 2013
  72. Bluegrass Politics, "Updated: McConnell raises $2.27 million in third quarter," accessed October 15, 2013
  73. 73.0 73.1 73.2 Roll Call, "Matt Bevin Reports Millions in ash and Assets Ready for Campaign," accessed November 26, 2013
  74. 74.0 74.1 74.2 Washington Post, "Mitch McConnell raises $2.3 million more for re-election," accessed October 11, 2013
  75. Washington Examiner "Mitch McConnell raises another $2.2m for re-election campaign" Accessed July 12, 2013
  76. 76.0 76.1 76.2 76.3 Washington Post, "DSCC, McConnell super PAC launch ads" Accessed July 19, 2013
  77. 77.0 77.1 77.2 77.3 77.4 77.5 Washington Post, "Kentucky Senate race could top $100 million," accessed August 12, 2013
  78. 78.0 78.1 78.2 Politico, "Mitch McConnell super PAC raises $1.2M," accessed August 12, 2013
  79. 79.0 79.1 79.2 79.3 79.4 79.5 79.6 79.7 79.8 Politico, "FEC signs off on Progress Kentucky closing," accessed August 13, 2013
  80. 80.0 80.1 80.2 80.3 80.4 80.5 80.6 The Hill, "McConnell’s challenger picks up key endorsement from conservative group" Accessed July 29, 2013
  81. The Madison Project, "Storming the Castle: Matt Bevin for Senate in Kentucky," accessed February 12, 2014
  82. 82.0 82.1 82.2 Politico, "Rubio backs McConnell," accessed October 21, 2013
  83. Matt Bevin for Senate, "Former Republican Nominee for KY State Auditor John Kemper Endorses Matt Bevin," accessed March 12, 2014
  84. Matt Bevin for Senate, "Former Republican Gubernatorial Nominee Larry Forgy Endorses Matt Bevin," accessed March 12, 2014
  85. Matt Bevin for Senate, "Bevin Campaign Announces Key Pro-Life Endorsement," accessed March 12, 2014
  86. 86.0 86.1 Politico, "FreedomWorks backs Mitch McConnell challenger Matt Bevin," accessed January 22, 2014
  87. Matt Bevin for Senate, "Matt Bevin Campaign Releases Radio Ad Featuring Mandy Connell," accessed March 12, 2014
  88. Huck PAC, "2013-14 Endorsed Candidates," accessed March 12, 2014
  89. Politico, "Targeted Tea Party Group Endorses Mitch McConnell" Accessed May 14, 2013
  90. 90.0 90.1 Politico, "Rand Paul in tough spot in 2014 Kentucky Senate race" Accessed July 25, 2013
  91. NBC Politics "At Fancy Farm, McConnell steps into crosshairs" Accessed August 5, 2013
  92. Mitch McConnell for Senate, "Kentucky FOP Endorse Senator McConnell In 2014 Senate Campaign," accessed March 12, 2014
  93. Mitch McConnell for Senate, "College Republicans get behind Mitch McConnell," accessed March 12, 2014
  94. Mitch McConnell for Senate, "McConnell Earns NFIB Endorsement," accessed March 12, 2014
  95. Huffington Post, "The NRA Puts Its Support Behind Mitch McConnell," accessed April 15, 2014
  96. 96.0 96.1 96.2 96.3 Politico, "GOP hits Alison Lundergan Grimes over Woody Allen check," accessed February 11, 2014
  97. 97.0 97.1 97.2 The Blaze, "Prominent Ky. Dem. Says Beating Mitch McConnell Will Be Like Defeating the Nazis," accessed January 25, 2014
  98. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  99. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  100. Washington Post, "Which lawmakers will refuse their pay during the shutdown?," accessed October 2, 2013
  101. Politico, "Mitch McConnell tells donors: No more shutdowns," accessed October 28, 2013
  102. 102.0 102.1 102.2 102.3 102.4 Politico, "Election 2013: Greens face dilemma on backing Alison Lundergan Grimes," accessed November 11, 2013
  103. Houston Chronicle, "McConnell focuses on coal in new campaign ad," accessed March 1, 2014
  104. 104.0 104.1 104.2 104.3 104.4 104.5 The Hill, "Chamber wades into Kentucky Senate race," accessed December 3, 2013
  105. 105.0 105.1 105.2 105.3 Bluegrass Politics, "U.S. Chamber of Commerce releases new ad touting Mitch McConnell," accessed February 20, 2014
  106. 106.0 106.1 106.2 106.3 The Hill, "Alison Lundergan Grimes invites Mitch McConnell to go shooting with her," accessed November 11, 2013
  107. 107.0 107.1 107.2 107.3 107.4 107.5 107.6 107.7 Huffington Post, "Alison Lundergan Grimes Calls Out Mitch McConnell On Fair Pay Claims," accessed November 27, 2013
  108. 108.0 108.1 108.2 108.3 108.4 108.5 108.6 Talking Points Memo, "McConnell Touts Support For Violence Against Women Act — Which He Has Consistently Voted Against," accessed September 2, 2013
  109. 109.0 109.1 109.2 Washington Post, "New McConnell ad plays up Democrats’ ‘dirty’ attacks" Accessed April 19, 2013
  110. The Washington Post, "Mitch McConnell, political arsonist?," accessed October 28, 2013
  111. Politico, "Videoshare" Accessed June 26, 2013
  112. Politico, "Kentucky Senate ads heating up" Accessed June 26, 2013
  113. WHAS "Grimes to challenge McConnell in 2014" Accessed July 1, 2013
  114. 114.0 114.1 114.2 Roll Call, "Super PAC Ad Ties McConnell Opponent to Harry Reid | #KYSEN," accessed September 30, 2013
  115. 115.0 115.1 115.2 Politico, "Kentucky ad links Obamacare, Grimes," accessed November 6, 2013
  116. 116.0 116.1 Politico, "Pro-Mitch McConnell ad links him to Rand Paul," accessed December 18, 2013
  117. 117.0 117.1 117.2 USA Today "McConnell mocks Democratic rival in video" Accessed July 3, 2013
  118. 118.0 118.1 118.2 The Hill, "Senate Majority PAC hammers McConnell as 'guardian of gridlock' in new ad" Accessed July 26, 2013
  119. Kentucky.com "New TV ad calls Mitch McConnell 'the guardian of gridlock'" Accessed July 26, 2013
  120. Senate Majority PAC, "Senate Majority PAC Launches New Radio Ad In “30 Years Is Too Long Campaign”," accessed September 30, 2013
  121. 121.0 121.1 121.2 Courier Journal "Alison Lundergan Grimes tells Mitch McConnell 'I don't scare easy' in video" Accessed July 26, 2013
  122. Politico, "Alison Lundergan Grimes to Mitch McConnell: ‘I don’t scare easy’" Accessed July 26, 2013
  123. Policy Mic.com "Alison Lundergan Grimes: McConnell's New Attack Ad is Straight Out Of Bizarro World" Accessed July 26, 2013
  124. NY Daily News "VIDEO: ‘What rhymes with Mitch?’ Alison Lundergan Grimes gives McConnell a taste of his own medicine in as the Kentucky Senate Race heats up with new ad" Accessed July 26, 2013
  125. WUKY "Alison Lundergan Grimes Calls Mitch McConnell's Leadership Spiteful, Petty in Kick-Off Ad" Accessed July 26, 2013
  126. 126.0 126.1 126.2 Washington Post, "McConnell launches another ad against Matt Bevin" Accessed August 7, 2013
  127. 127.0 127.1 127.2 The Hill, "McConnell slams GOP challenger as 'Bailout Bevin' in new ad" Accessed August 7, 2013
  128. Daily Independent "McConnell campaign calls Bevin ‘minor nuisance’" Accessed August 7, 2013
  129. WDRB "McConnell campaign releases new ad accusing opponent of tax problems" Accessed August 7, 2013
  130. 130.0 130.1 Talking Points Memo "Bevin Ad Slams ‘Mudslinging Mitch’ McConnell’s Wall Street Bailouts (VIDEO)" Accessed August 7, 2013
  131. 131.0 131.1 Daily Kos "New ad from tea party challenger goes after 'Mudslinging Mitch'" Accessed August 7, 2013
  132. 132.0 132.1 132.2 132.3 132.4 132.5 Politico, "Kentucky Senate race 2014: Mitch McConnell video goes after Matt Bevin," accessed August 12, 2013
  133. 133.0 133.1 133.2 133.3 133.4 133.5 Politico, "Mitch McConnell gets boost from chemistry group," accessed August 14, 2013
  134. 134.0 134.1 134.2 Talking Points Memo, "Senate Conservatives Fund To Make McConnell ‘Feel The Heat’ In KY Campaign," accessed August 19, 2013
  135. 135.0 135.1 Sunlight Foundation, "PAC with ties to DeMint attacks McConnell on immigration," accessed August 19, 2013
  136. 136.0 136.1 136.2 136.3 136.4 136.5 Kentucky.com, "Conservative group presses McConnell on health law," accessed August 27, 2013
  137. 137.0 137.1 137.2 Star Tribune, "Conservative group to run radio ad challenging Senate GOP leader McConnell on health care law," accessed August 27, 2013
  138. 138.0 138.1 138.2 138.3 138.4 138.5 138.6 Politico, "Tea party group’s ad hits McConnell over Obamacare," accessed September 5, 2013
  139. 139.0 139.1 139.2 Washington Post, "Conservative group hits McConnell in new ad," accessed October 30, 2013
  140. 140.0 140.1 140.2 140.3 140.4 140.5 Huffington Post, "Mitch McConnell Blasted On Social Security In New Ad From Left," accessed August 29, 2013
  141. 141.0 141.1 Politico, "POLITICO’s Morning Score: Ohio governor poll — Six-figure McConnell ad buy vs. Bevin — McDonnell prosecution would be no slam dunk — Montana Senate moves to ‘tossup/tilt Republican’," accessed August 21, 2013
  142. 142.0 142.1 The Hill, "MIT denies possible McConnell challenger’s claimed ties to school," accessed August 21, 2013
  143. WFPL, "Conservative PAC's Radio Ad Echoes Matt Bevin Attacks on Mitch McConnell," accessed August 27, 2013
  144. 144.0 144.1 Daily Kos, "McConnell campaign unloads on Bevin after conservative group says Mitch is too liberal," accessed August 27, 2013
  145. 145.0 145.1 145.2 Washington Post, "Democratic super PAC ads target Boehner, McConnell," accessed October 30, 2013
  146. 146.0 146.1 146.2 146.3 Washington Post, "New McConnell ad highlights support for sick plant workers," accessed January 22, 2014
  147. Politico, "Mitch McConnell releases first 2014 bio spot," accessed January 22, 2014
  148. Huffington Post " Kentucky Senate Poll Shows Mitch McConnell Tied With Alison Lundergan Grimes" Accessed June 6, 2013
  149. Public Policy Polling "Kentucky Polling Memo" Accessed June 6, 2013
  150. Cincinnati.com "McConnell ahead in new poll" Accessed June 6, 2013
  151. Politico, "Survey of Likely Voters Statewide in Kentucky" Accessed June 6, 2013
  152. 152.0 152.1 152.2 152.3 152.4 Politico, "Mitch McConnell, Alison Lundergan Grimes face off at Fancy Farm," accessed August 7, 2013
  153. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  154. Federal Election Commission, "Year-end," accessed June 27, 2014
  155. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed June 27, 2014
  156. Federal Election Commission, "Pre-Primary," accessed June 27, 2014
  157. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed October 15, 2014
  158. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 20, 2014
  159. 159.0 159.1 159.2 159.3 The Hill, "Lundergan Grimes gets fundraising boost in Kentucky Senate race," accessed October 23, 2013
  160. Washington Post, "Grimes quickly gaining on McConnell in race for funds," accessed April 15, 2014
  161. Yahoo News, "Grimes raised $2.7 million in first quarter," accessed April 15, 2014
  162. 162.0 162.1 Politico, "Bill Clinton to campaign with Alison Lundergan Grimes," accessed February 10, 2014
  163. Courier Journal, "Bill Clinton to campaign for Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky," accessed February 10, 2014
  164. Politico, "Bill Clinton helps Alison Lundergan Grimes raise $700K," accessed February 27, 2014
  165. Alison for Kentucky, "PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON TO JOIN ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES IN LOUISVILLE," accessed February 24, 2014
  166. Courier Journal "Gov. Steve Beshear pledges support for Alison Lundergan Grimes" Accessed July 11, 2013
  167. 167.0 167.1 167.2 EMILY's List, "EMILY’s List Endorses Alison Lundergan Grimes for Senate in Kentucky," accessed August 22, 2013
  168. 168.0 168.1 168.2 Politico, "Reports: will.i.am for g.r.i.m.e.s," accessed September 5, 2013
  169. The Washington Post, "The Fix’s top 10 Senate races of 2014," accessed December 10, 2013
  170. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013