In Kentucky, It’s Officially McConnell Vs. Grimes

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 14: (L-R) U.S. Senate Minority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) walk from McConnell's office to the Senate Chamber on October 14, 2013 in Washington, DC. As Democratic and Republican leaders negotiate an end to the shutdown and a way to raise the debt limit, the White House postponed a planned Monday afternoon meeting with Boehner and other Congressional leaders. The government shutdown is currently in its 14th day. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
National Journal
Andrea Drusch
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Andrea Drusch
May 20, 2014, 3:12 p.m.

Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell and Ken­tucky Sec­ret­ary of State Al­is­on Lun­der­gan Grimes each eas­ily won their re­spect­ive primary elec­tions Tues­day night, set­ting up one of the most hotly an­ti­cip­ated races of 2014.

Mc­Con­nell hand­ily de­feated his tea-party-backed chal­lenger, busi­ness­man Matt Bev­in, 62 per­cent to 33 per­cent, with 7 per­cent of pre­cincts re­port­ing when the As­so­ci­ated Press called the race minutes after the polls closed at 7 p.m. On the Demo­crat­ic side, Grimes took 79 per­cent over a hand­ful of largely un­known can­did­ates.

Bev­in was once con­sidered a ser­i­ous chal­lenger to Mc­Con­nell, but a series of polit­ic­al stumbles left him and his cam­paign flail­ing for most of the year. By April, most of the con­ser­vat­ive groups who had once en­thu­si­ast­ic­ally backed his cam­paign had pulled out of the race.

Mc­Con­nell and Grimes have been run­ning neck-and-neck in what’s ex­pec­ted to be one of the closest races this cycle. A Bluegrass poll re­leased this week showed them ef­fect­ively tied, with Grimes lead­ing 43 per­cent to 42 per­cent.

Both sides have sur­moun­ted siz­able war chests for the battle ahead, with Mc­Con­nell sit­ting on about $10 mil­lion and Grimes at just un­der $5 mil­lion at the end of April. They each spent more than they raised in the month of April, but Mc­Con­nell has largely been fo­cused on Bev­in un­til this point. He’s ex­pec­ted to un­leash a flood of ads tar­get­ing Grimes in the com­ing weeks, and his out­side-group sup­port­ers have already pur­chased $5.2 mil­lion in post-primary air­time.

Grimes raised more than $8 mil­lion, but she’s spent more than $3 mil­lion already with no real primary chal­lenger. She also lacks the out­side sup­port that Mc­Con­nell has. Her sup­port­ing su­per PAC We Are Ken­tucky raised just un­der $300,000, most of which it has spent without a single me­dia buy.

Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell and Ken­tucky Sec­ret­ary of State Al­is­on Lun­der­gan Grimes se­cured their roles as party stand­ard bear­ers in the state’s primary elec­tion Tues­day night. Mc­Con­nell hand­ily de­feated his tea party-backed chal­lenger, busi­ness­man Matt Bev­in, XX to XX per­cent with XX per­cent of pre­cincts re­port­ing when the As­so­ci­ated Press called the race at XX. On the Demo­crat­ic side, Grimes took XX per­cent over a hand­ful of largely un­known can­did­ates. Mc­Con­nell and Grimes have been run­ning neck-and-neck in what’s ex­pec­ted to be one of the closest races this cycle. A Bluegrass Poll re­leased this week showed them a single point apart, with Grimes lead­ing 43% to 42%. Both sides have sur­moun­ted siz­able war chests for the battle ahead, with Mc­Con­nell sit­ting on about $10 mil­lion and Grimes at just un­der $5 mil­lion at the end of April. They each spent more than they raised in the month of April, but Mc­Con­nell was largely been fo­cused on Bev­in un­til this point. He’s ex­pec­ted to un­leash on Grimes in the com­ing weeks, and his out­side group sup­port­ers already pur­chased $5.2 mil­lion in post-primary air time. Grimes raised more than $8 mil­lion, but she’s spent more than $3 mil­lion already with no real primary chal­lenger. She also lacks the out­side group sup­port that Mc­Con­nell has. Her sup­port­ing su­per PAC We Are Ken­tucky raised just un­der $300,000, most of which it has spent without a single me­dia buy.Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell and Ken­tucky Sec­ret­ary of State Al­is­on Lun­der­gan Grimes se­cured their roles as party stand­ard bear­ers in the state’s primary elec­tion Tues­day night.Mc­Con­nell hand­ily de­feated his tea party-backed chal­lenger, busi­ness­man Matt Bev­in, XX to XX per­cent with XX per­cent of pre­cincts re­port­ing when the As­so­ci­ated Press called the race at XX. On the Demo­crat­ic side, Grimes took XX per­cent over a hand­ful of largely un­known can­did­ates.Mc­Con­nell and Grimes have been run­ning neck-and-neck in what’s ex­pec­ted to be one of the closest races this cycle. A Bluegrass Poll re­leased this week showed them a single point apart, with Grimes lead­ing 43% to 42%.Both sides have sur­moun­ted siz­able war chests for the battle ahead, with Mc­Con­nell sit­ting on about $10 mil­lion and Grimes at just un­der $5 mil­lion at the end of April. They each spent more than they raised in the month of April, but Mc­Con­nell was largely been fo­cused on Bev­in un­til this point. He’s ex­pec­ted to un­leash on Grimes in the com­ing weeks, and his out­side group sup­port­ers already pur­chased $5.2 mil­lion in post-primary air time.Grimes raised more than $8 mil­lion, but she’s spent more than $3 mil­lion already with no real primary chal­lenger. She also lacks the out­side group sup­port that Mc­Con­nell has. Her sup­port­ing su­per PAC We Are Ken­tucky raised just un­der $300,000, most of which it has spent without a single me­dia buy.
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