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Poll Shows McConnell Leading McGrath In Senate Race By Double Digits

Abbey Oldham

A new poll shows Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leading Democratic challenger Amy McGrath by 17 points in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race this year.

The survey of 793 likely voters in Kentucky by Washington D.C. based firm Morning Consult shows McConnell leading McGrath 53% to 36%. The poll was conducted between July 24 and Aug 2.

McConnell is running for his seventh term in the Senate, though this is the first year he is running while also serving as the majority leader, the high-profile position that allows him to set the agenda of the chamber and wield influence on which bills come up for votes.

McGrath is a retired Marine fighter pilot who narrowly won the Democratic nomination after surviving a late surge in support for one of her primary opponents, state Rep. Charles Booker. McGrath also lost a close race for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional district in 2018.

Booker galvanized progressive voters in Kentucky during the primary amid protests over racism and police violence and criticized McGrath for being too moderate on policy issues. McGrath ended up winning the primary by about 3 percentage points.

The survey showed that 79% of Kentucky Democrats said they would vote for McGrath, 12% said they would vote for McConnell and 6% said they would vote for someone else.

Meanwhile 84% of Republicans said they would vote for McConnell, 7% said they would vote for McGrath and 4% said they would vote for someone else.

Among independents, 45% said they would vote for McConnell and 33% said they would vote for McGrath.

Credit Kevin Willis
Amy McGrath, left, during a recent visit to Bowling Green.

Although she trails McConnell significantly in the polls, McGrath has raised more than $47 million in this year’s race while McConnell has raised about $32 million. Both candidates have about $16 million on hand.

According to the poll, President Donald Trump has more support for his reelection in Kentucky than McConnell does. Trump has a 24-point edge over Joe Biden in Kentucky. Trump won the state over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by nearly 30 percentage points in 2016.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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