Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fox News Poll has McConnell up 4 points; he surprises talk-show host but won't give on some issues

Rounding up just a few of the many things flying around in the race . . .
  • A poll taken for Fox News Oct. 4-7 shows Sen. Mitch McConnell leading Alison Lundergan Grimes 45 percent to 41 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, which applies to both numbers. It showed McConnell leading among men 48-43 and Grimes leading among women 45-37, numbers that don't add up to the overall result unless a lot more men were polled -- which does not seem to be the case, because the poll memo says the error margins for the gender samples are identical. The poll used live interviewers; most polls in the race he used recorded voices and push-button responses. For the results, click here.
  • After being badgered by Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones for two weeks for not appearing on his show, McConnell placed a surprise call to the host Wednesday and "had a series of sharp exchanges," report Erica Peterson and Joseph Lord of WFPL. McConnell refused to say if he believed in global warming, and wouldn't comment on same-sex marriage except to say twice that "Marriage should be between one man and one woman." For the story, which covers Grimes's positions in an earlier KSR interview and includes a link to a recording to the conversation, click here.
  • Jones said after the 10-minute conversation that McConnell's campaign had said he would appear and it was only a matter of working out the date, then wouldn't return calls. "They heard that I might ask difficult questions and they just didn't do it," he said. Jones said on MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" tonight that most of his listeners probably support McConnell and sent word to him that he should be on the show. Jones appeared on TV with Joe Sonka of Insider Louisville, a journalist who is generally critical of McConnell. "Mitch showed a side his campaign probably wishes he hadn't showed to voters," Sonka said. "It was unnecessarily combative." Grimes was on the show last month. Jones said, "She seemed to sort of dodge questions."
  • McConnell's position as Republican leader could be in jeopardy if his party doesn't take control of the Senate, Alexander Bolton reports for The Hill. Quoting an anonymous senator, Bolton reports, "Some members of the Senate Republican Conference would call for a re-evaluation of McConnell’s tactics, which the lawmaker described as maintaining total party unity in opposition to the Democratic agenda. . . . Conservative critics, on the other hand, argue that McConnell has been too accommodating and has not been fierce enough in waging the battle to repeal Obamacare or slash federal spending." But two other unnamed senators said McConnell would remain leader because there is no clear alternative and the job is a political target.

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