At the Wire, Republican Birds Come Home to Roost; McConnell Well-Positioned to be Sworn-In As Senate Majority Leader in Next Congress
After giving careful consideration to Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes throughout the spring and summer of 2014, and after weighing the pros and cons of punishing GOP icon Mitch McConnell, Kentucky’s voters in the campaign’s final week rally to the 5-term incumbent, and leave him, 96-hours till the campaign ends, well-positioned for re-election to a 6th term, and uniquely well-positioned to be majority leader when Republicans seize from Democrats control of the US Senate on 11/04/14.
Today, in the final Bluegrass Poll conducted for the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Lexington Herald-Leader, WHAS-TV and WKYT-TV, it’s McConnell 48%, Grimes 43%. McConnell’s showing is his strongest in 4 Bluegrass Polls going back to 08/28/14.
86% of Republicans today vote Republican. The base solidifies. In 3 previous Bluegrass Polls the number never got above 79%. The number of Republicans who today “cross-over” and vote Democratic, is 8%, the lowest it has been. Conversely, 3 times as many Democrats today tell SurveyUSA they will break ranks and vote for Mitch. These are voters Grimes desperately courted, voters Grimes desperately needed to win.
McConnell ends the campaign backed by 55% of voters in Western KY, 53% of voters in Eastern KY, 45% of voters in NC KY, and 41% of voters in greater Louisville. McConnell is above 50% among the least educated and the most affluent.
McConnell ends with a Net Favorability Rating of Minus 7. 37% of voters see him favorably, 44% of voters see him unfavorably. Of greater significance, over the course of the campaign, McConnell ad dollars succeeded in pushing Grimes under water. She ends the campaign with a Minus 6 Net Favorability Rating: 37% see her favorably compared with 43% who see her unfavorably — almost identical to Mcconnell, and the lowest Net Favorability she has ever demonstrated. President Obama, whose shadow hangs over this and other Senate elections in 2014, ends with a Minus 28 Net Favorability Rating: 27% see him favorably compared to 55% who see him unfavorably.
* 64% of voters agree with the statement: “I know where McConnell stands on the issues.”
* 60% of voters agree with the statement: “I know where Grimes stands on the issues.”
* 68% of voters agree with the statement: “I am satisfied with my choices for US Senate.”
* 53% of voters say McConnell should answer questions put to him about climate change.
* 39% of voters say Grimes should disclose whether she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Cell-phone respondents and home-phone respondents are included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 800 state of KY adults 10/25/14 through 10/29/14. Of the adults, 704 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 597 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 11/04/14 General Election. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed-mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (72% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (28% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.