Sunday, November 2, 2014

Poll gives McConnell clear lead; Republicans have outspent Democrats on TV by margin of nearly 3 to 2

Sunday is not a day of rest for campaigners and dedicated observers:
  • A Marist College poll taken for NBC News Friday, Oct. 31 is the first reliable, independent poll to give Sen. Mitch McConnell 50 percent of the vote and a lead outside the margin of error. The survey gave Alison Lundergan Grimes 41 percent and Libertarian David Patterson 5 percent, with 3 percent of self-described likely voters undecided. The poll's initial question, about President Obama's job approval, may have skewed the results slightly; Obama's rating was 32 percent approval and 60 percent disapproval. McConnell's favorable-unfavorable was 44-49; Grimes's was 42-47. The poll's error margin was plus or minus 4.2 percent.
  • "A senior party official" called McConnell "on Saturday at his Louisville home and, after running through voting projections, told Mr. McConnell that he would be the next majority leader. Mr. McConnell’s initial reaction was only a long pause," reports Jonathan Martin of The New York Times. McConnell has dreamed of being majority leader for a very long time, perhaps virtually all his adult life.
  • Republicans have bought about 29 broadcast TV ads in the Senate race for every 20 commercials run by Democrats, according to near-final calculations by the Center for Public Integrity, reported by Adam Beam of The Associated Press. "Altogether, Kentucky's Senate candidates and interested parties have spent more than $33 million on TV ads, and that's a low estimate. It does not include the money spent on polling to come up with the ads or production costs to make the ads. And it does not include ads on local cable. McConnell's campaign has outspent Grimes' campaign by about $2 million. But the big advantage for McConnell comes from two super PACs, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition and Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, that have spent a combined $8.2 million on ads for McConnell. Grimes' biggest source of outside help came from the $2.4 million worth of ads from the Senate Majority PAC," overseen by Democratic Leader Harry Reid. For the latest data from the Center for Responsive Politics, click here.
  • Here's an image of the controversial mailer that McConnell and the Republican Party of Kentucky sent to voters in Eastern Kentucky:
    Inside, the mailer says, "Dear Citizen: This document serves as a notification to you, as a resident of Kentucky and a registered voter in the aforementioned commonwealth, of fraudulent information that is being deliberately spread to voters in your area. The information that has been red-flagged as 100% false is being purposely spread by the campaign of the federal candidate named below: Alison Lundergan Grimes. With the campaign for United States Senate nearly complete, Alison Lundergan Grimes has chosen to launch an advertising campaign that independent sources prove is filled with blatant lies intended solely to deceive Kentucky voters." Grimes has filed suit seeking an injunction to stop use of the mailers. UPDATE, Jan. 26: In the Campaigns & Elections magazine contest, the piece "won five awards, including 'best direct mail piece for 2014,' Sam Youngman reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. "The mail piece, produced by the Lukens Company, also won for 'best direct mail piece for Republican statewide candidate,' 'best mail piece for a bare-knuckled street fight victory,' 'toughest direct mail piece' and 'most daring and successful tactic'."
  • Here's the inside of a mailer that the Kentucky Democratic Party has sent African Americans, promoting protests from the McConnell campaign:
  • Grimes's campaign said it would seek judicial action against the mailers.

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