Monday, October 27, 2014

Grimes gets endorsement of two largest newspapers; McConnell backed in Bowling Green, Paducah, N. Ky.

With only nine days left to decide one of the nation's most intriguing Senate races, Alison Lundergan Grimes has received the endorsement of The Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Grimes picked up the endorsements from the state's largest and predominantly liberal newspapers on Sunday, coming on the heels of Sen. Mitch McConnell's endorsements from the conservative Bowling Green Daily News and The Paducah Sun, as well as The Kentucky Enquirer, an edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Courier-Journal endorsement comes after Grimes's interview between with the Louisville paper's editorial board went viral after she refused to say if she voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Despite what many described as a gaffe, The C-J applauded Grimes for speaking to them: "Ms. Grimes, to her credit, was willing to appear before this newspaper's editorial board, fielding an hour's worth of questions in an interview that was streamed live online and remains archived on the C-J website. She did this fully aware that Mr. McConnell's campaign could — and did — seize on snippets to use in political attacks." McConnell never accepted the paper's invitation to the same sort of meeting, "shielding himself from scrutiny," it said.

The Herald-Leader cited McConnell's hand in Washington gridlock as the main reason behind its decision: "If McConnell had a better record, he would not have to argue for six more years by obsessively linking Grimes to Obama, who will be gone in two years no matter what."

McConnell was endorsed Monday by the Bowling Green daily, which said, "In U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., you have a proven leader who puts our state’s interest and needs first. McConnell fights day after day in the Senate against President Barack Obama’s agenda . . . " The editorial went on to mention specific projects in which McConnell has brought funding to the area, and said his influence will be key for Kentucky residents.

The Paducah Sun published an editorial on October 12 written by publisher Jim Paxton that endorsed McConnell as being the candidate who best represents the beliefs and values of the average Kentuckian.

Publisher Jim Paxton wrote, "Senator McConnell has a long list of career accomplishments for the interests of western Kentuckians including support for nuclear workers at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, heavy involvement in the Freedom to Fish Act and establishment of the Clark's River Refuge."

McConnell is looked upon favorably in Western Kentucky. In last week's Bluegrass Poll his favorable-unfavorable rating was 45 percent to 39 percent, his highest among state regions.

The Enquirer, which claims enough Northern Kentucky circulation to be the state's third largest paper, cited McConnell's experience, influence and "a thorough command of the policy and security issues the country faces."

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