Friday, June 13, 2014

June 11-13: Grimes up marginally in poll; candidates stake out Iraq positions; more military-women mail

Roundup for June 11-13:
  • Alison Lundergan Grimes issued a press release saying American troops should not be sent back to Iraq. Her statement did not address the possibility of action not involving troops, but concluded, "The United States should continue to play a supportive role by providing useful intelligence." Sen. Mitch McConnell said the U.S. should "quickly provide assistance" to Iraq but didn't say what form it should take.
  • Grimes led McConnell 49 percent to 46 percent in an automated telephone poll of 808 likely voters drawn from a voter file by Magellan Strategies, a Republican survey firm, June 4-5. As in earlier surveys, the results are well within the poll's error margin, plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, but this one gives Grimes her largest percentage in any published poll so far.
  • The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a "super PAC" supporting McConnell, has sent a third mailer touting his support for women in the military. Its content is virtually the same as the first two except for illustrations; this one shows a young girl holding a paper airplane and tells readers, "When she grows up, if she wants to fly in the military, she's going to need our support."
  • McConnell's "Freedom to Fish" bill was signed into law. The legislation bans the Army Corps of Engineers from restricting access to the tailwaters of the Wolf Creek (Lake Cumberland) and Barkley dams.
  • Ronnie Ellis of CNHI News Service said on KET's "Comment on Kentucky" that McConnell is winning "hands down" when moderator Bill Bryant asked which candidate is winning "that battle for control of the message." Ellis said of Grimes, "She's been on the defensive. I think before the primary she was much more effective in talking about his role in the Washington dysfunction." Sam Youngman of the Lexington Herald-Leader made similar remarks on the show last week. Ellis said Grimes is more effective talking about economic and women's issues.
  • McConnell has proposed three "Lincoln-Douglas style" debates with Grimes, but Ellis writes in his column, "After listening to the dismal and often downright silly campaign rhetoric ... I can confidently say neither is an Abraham Lincoln or a Stephen Douglas. . . . I was on a media panel last week and the moderator asked where the campaign is headed, to which I answered, 'Downhill.' But it’s such a long time until November that we likely have a long way to go before we hit bottom. Kentuckians deserve better but they won’t get it and probably won’t even demand it."
  • The Kentucky New Era of Hopkinsville said in an editorial that the candidates should have three debates and KET "probably should handle one ... and allow voters to phone in some of the questions. At least one debate should occur before a live audience in an auditorium that seats no less than a few hundred people. Finally, at least one debate should occur in October, when voters are actually paying attention to the race. . . . The candidates should also show some respect to the rural areas of Kentucky when they agree on when and where to debate. Ideally, McConnell and Grimes could debate once in the Golden Triangle, once in Western Kentucky and once in Eastern Kentucky."

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