Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Candidates' experience and Grimes's ties to Obama matter to voters in one Lexington precinct

By Paige Hobbs
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Votes appear to be steady across the state of Kentucky today as the U.S. Senate election takes place between Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The candidates’ amount of experience and ties to President Obama seem to be the biggest factors for those at the Duke precinct polling place at Morton Middle School on Tates Creek Road in Lexington's Chevy Chase neighborhood.

For some, McConnell’s 30 years of experience and differences with President Obama are a positive qualities. For others, the fresh face and inexperience of Grimes is more appealing, as are her similarities to Obama.

Marilyn Chillery, 67, a retired education administrator, said that she voted for McConnell and that Grimes's lack of experience greatly influenced her vote. “I like what he’s done. . . I think he’s doing a good job," she said. “She doesn’t have the experience.”

Jennifer, a 53-year-old teacher who declined to give her last name, agrees and said she too voted for McConnell: “I think he’s done a good job and I can’t imagine when he’s getting ready to be in such a strong position why we would risk that.”

Others were concerned about ties to Obama. Claire Hanson, 43, a stay-at-home mother, said she voted for McConnell simply because “she’s a big supporter of Obama and I’m not a big supporter of him or pretty much anything he stands for.”

Others see it differently.

Mark and Ann Bjork, University of Kentucky professors, said they voted for Grimes. He said "She's for the people" and "He's really locked up the senate."

She said, "He's been 30 years of an idiot," and "started out saying the main thing we want to accomplish" is dedying Obama a second term. "We're very strong Obama. . . We're crazy about Alison."

Sarah Adams, a 36-year-old teacher, agrees that McConnell has been in office too long and said she voted for Grimes. “I feel like Mitch McConnell has been in office for a very long time and I think it would be good to have a fresh face. She seems very driven and I feel like she could do a good job.”

This race has been one of great interest to voters across the Bluegrass, as it has been tight throughout most of its run. Tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. Eastern time KET will have election results and analysis.

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