Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Debate didn't appear to have much impact on voters
By Paige Hobbs
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications
The only true debate of Kentucky’s U.S Senate race didn’t appear to change many votes, judging from interviews immediately after the debate with voters who said in the recent Bluegrass Poll that they had chosen a candidate but might change their minds.
And supporters of Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who has had some difficulty sending a clear, positive message to voters, said her appearance did nothing to change their minds, either.
Steve Clevinger of Kenton County, a retired postal worker, sad in the recent poll that he was for Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, but wasn’t sure if he had made up his mind. After the debate, he sounded more certain.
“If I had to pick a winner in the debate, I would say it was Mitch McConnell,” Clevinger said. “It didn’t seem that Secretary Grimes could address a subject without attacking the senator. His name came up more often than her own policies.”
Grimes repeatedly called in the debate for raising the minimum wage, but Clevinger said, “If she had her way, what she would be doing is creating a permanent underclass.”
Grimes supporter Alma Irvin, a retired business supervisor from Hopkinsville, thought differently.
“She sounded like she’s for the people and wants to help the people, overall I think she won the debate,” Irvin said. Asked her overall opinion of McConnell, she said “It seems like he’s been in there so long that he’s lost interest.”
Danny Stone of Paducah, a retired coal miner who said he has black-lung disease and got no help from McConnell’s office, said in the poll that he was for Grimes but could still change his mind. After the debate, he said “She’s more agreeable and aggressive. . . . She’s willing and able to work in a constructive manner with Republicans.”