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McConnell and Grimes Criss-Cross Kentucky on Final Full Day of Campaigning

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

One of the most expensive Senate races in U.S. history will come to an end Tuesday evening when voters decide between Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes spoke to supporters at the Bowling Green United Auto Workers Hall Monday morning. She was dismissive of recent polls that show Sen. McConnell with a growing lead. An NBC/Marist poll released over the weekend gave McConnell a nine point lead.

“That’s the Washington D.C.-beltway punditry.  As you can see, the energy is palpable,” Grimes said, in reference to supporters at her Warren County event. “Kentuckians will have the final word in this election, and I do believe that they are bringing this race home, and will bring us across the finish line successfully.”

Grimes is hoping to become Kentucky’s first female U.S. Senator. On the final day of campaigning before votes are cast Tuesday, the Secretary of State is flying around the state, making appearances with Governor Steve Beshear, Former Governor Martha Layne Collins, and Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

McConnell is spending Monday alongside his fellow Kentucky Republican Senator, Rand Paul of Bowling Green. The two are flying around the state and speaking at airports across the commonwealth, including those in Bowling Green and Owensboro Monday afternoon.

One of the deciding factors in the outcome of the race could be the number of Democratic voters that break for McConnell.

In the final Bluegrass Poll conducted before Election Day, 23 percent of Democrats who were surveyed said they would vote for McConnell.

The Republican Senator says he expects to win a sizeable number of votes cast by rural Democrats Tuesday.

“Typically there are about a-fourth of the Democrats available to a Republican. These are Democrats who are pretty conservative and pretty concerned about the future of the country. And since there are more registered Democrats than Republicans, obviously getting a significant number of Democrats is important if you’re going to win,” McConnell told WKU Public Radio.

That final Bluegrass Poll showed McConnell doing very well with GOP voters, with 86 percent of registered Republicans saying they would back the incumbent.

Only eight percent said they would vote for Grimes.

McConnell also predicts his campaign will do well in counties that are in the central time zone.

“Western Kentucky has been increasingly good for people like myself. So we’re looking for big margins in western Kentucky, and we believe the coal issue will change some of the Democratic coal counties in eastern Kentucky.”

But in her speech at the UAW Hall in Bowling Green Monday, Grimes said McConnell has lost touch with average Kentuckians during his time in Washington.

“We deserve better than a man that just wants to get a bigger office. I want you to get a bigger paycheck,” Grimes said to cheers.

If Republicans win control of the U.S. Senate, and McConnell defeats Grimes, the Louisville Republican will become Senate Majority Leader in 2015.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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