DSCC Pulls Ads For Grimes In Kentucky

Grimes McConnell

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will not be spending any money for television ads in the final three weeks of the campaign in Kentucky, a move that seems to send a signal about what national Democrats really think about the prospects for Alison Lundergan Grimes:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has gone dark in Kentucky, where the party is targeting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

After a significant investment in support of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the DSCC had not reserved time for the final three weeks of the race and, as of today, is no longer on the air.

“The DSCC has now spent more than 2 million in Kentucky and continues to make targeted investments in the ground game while monitoring the race for future investments, but is currently not on the air in the state,” a DSCC official told CQ Roll Call.

McConnell has held small but consistent leads in nearly every recent public poll.

As it seeks to keep Republicans from picking up six seats and the Senate majority, the DSCC’s independent expenditure unit may see a better opportunity in Georgia, where it just purchased significant advertising time.

The sight of parties switching money out of one race and into an other is not uncommon, of course. In these final weeks of the race decisions must be made by both parties about where to concentrate resources to places where they might be most effective. In this case, notwithstanding one recent poll that suggested that Grimes had surged, a subsequent poll showed Senator McConnell back in the lead with a four point margin and the RealClearPolitics average gives him a 3 point lead. At this point in the race, that’s going to be a tough margin to overcome for a Democrat running in what is largely a Republican state at the national level. Additionally, by near universal assessment, Grimes has not helped herself in the last few days with a babbling and incoherent response to the question of who she voted for in the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections, a problem that continued in last night’s debate. As Jeff Greenfield noted this morning, her response to the question, which would seem to be an easy one to answer, is politically dumb and tone deaf.

The Georgia race, by contrast, appears to be one that could be a good investment for national Democrats. While Republican nominee David Perdue does continue to lead in the polling average, three recent polls from Atlanta media, Survey USA, and Public Policy Polling do seem to suggest that Michelle Nunn is closing the gap. The issue that Democrats face in Georgia, though, is that it doesn’t appear that either Nunn or Perdue will end up getting more than 50% of the vote on Election Day, meaning that the will be forced into a head-to-head runoff on January 6th. In that race, with just Perdue and Nunn on the ballot, Nunn may find it harder to keep up the performance that she has in the polling to date. In any case, though, for the moment Georgia appears to be a smarter investment than Kentucky where, absent some surprise, it really does appear that Mitch McConnell will pull of another victory.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2014, Congress, Quick Takes, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    Looks like we’re stuck with ol’ Turtle-face for another term. Good for comedians…bad for the Republic.
    His performance in the Kentucky debate was amazing…in that what it says about anyone who would vote for him.

    “…Kentucky Kynect is a website. It was paid for by a grant from the federal government,” he said. “The website can continue, but in my view the best interests of the country would be achieved by pulling out Obamacare root and branch.” Eventually, McConnell said about Kynect, “It’s fine to have a website….”

    Word salad that ignores the very function of Obamacare and the state exchanges.
    The Governor of Kentucky:

    “Tonight, Mitch McConnell looked into the camera and misled Kentucky about his plan to take Kynect from more than 500,000 Kentuckians who have gained health care in the last year,” the governor said in a statement. “Mitch told Kentuckians he’d keep the website up, while pulling the plug on federal funding, tax credits, and tearing down a marketplace that has made Kentucky a model of success for the nation — all to advance his partisan political agenda that has Washington in gridlock to the point of paralysis.”

  2. stonetools says:

    @C. Clavin:

    What McConnell said was at least as moronic and incoherent as Grimes’ remarks , yet the media focused on Grimes and ignored McConnell. Of course McConnell only goes on the Republican’s pet network, where interviewers are going to be careful not to ask him anything about Kynect.
    Oh well, goodbye Grimes. Time to invest more in Nunn and Pryor. And hope Braley can get his head out of his a$$ in Iowa.He’s one point behind now.

  3. MikeSJ says:

    Many of the 500,000 persons with health insurance via Kynect will be voting for McConnell.

    I honestly don’t know if these people are truly ignorant of what ending the ACA would do to their insurance or are just so addled with hatred towards Obama that they will knowingly hurt themselves and their families.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    @MikeSJ:
    Well, lucky them…they get to elect and old white rich guy who preaches small government while making a career of suckling at the government teet…and keep their insurance.

  5. ernieyeball says:

    @C. Clavin:..career of suckling at the government teet…

    Of the Fifty Nifty United States tell me about the ones that don’t drink whatever comes out of that nipple.

  6. Pinky says:

    Well, pulling ads doesn’t mean the race is over. It still looks within the margin of error. Still, it’s nice to see that the Senate No Tossups map on realclearpolitics is at 53 Republicans. Here’s hoping. (Actually, Tillis isn’t that far behind, so 54 is still possible. My bet, it’s going to be 51 plus whatever happens in Kansas. I think Landrieu pulls off Louisiana.)

  7. Tyrell says:

    It’s over.

  8. Pinky says:

    @Tyrell: Not until the last polling place closes on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

  9. Moosebreath says:

    @Pinky:

    “Not until the last polling place closes on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.”

    And in the case of states with run-offs (including both Georgia and Louisiana) not even then.

  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    Man, how could Grimes screw up the “Who’d you vote for?” question this late in the game.

    Don’t want to say you voted for Obama? “I voted against Romney’s plan to fleece the poor.” “I voted against McCain’s [insert any section from his campaign]”

  11. stonetools says:

    On second thought, it looks like things are not quite over. The DSCC is pulling funds in part because Grimes is quite the fundraiser. She has $4.4M in funds and is set for the next three weeks. Moreover, the DSCC is still keeping in GOTV money.
    Finally, the press is zeroing in MConnell’s statements, which seem to imply that Kentuckians can keep their Kynect insurance if Obamacaare is abolished. Ron Fourier:

    He can’t have it both ways. Uprooting Obamacare upends Kynect. The Kentucky exchange was created with $252 million in federal grants provided through Obamacare. A critical aspect of the Affordable Care Act—and, by extension, the Kentucky plan—is the requirement that Kentucky residents secure health insurance. A full repeal of Obamacare would eliminate the grants, place a burden on Kentucky to finance the exchange (read: higher taxes), and scuttle the mandate

    The national press is starting to call MConnell on this, and I bet they are going to spend a lot more time on this than on ALG’s gaffe.

  12. C. Clavin says:

    @ernieyeball:
    While I endorse term limits…it takes a special kind of douche to preach small government…while making a career and getting rich in…you know…government.
    My own particular favorite is Paul Ryan…scourge of government spending and slashing the social safety net…who himself is heir to a fortune made in government contracts and has never held a significant private sector job. He may have worked at McDonalds one summer.
    What’s good for thee, but not me.

  13. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky: I’ll ask you the same question Doug didn’t answer a few days ago. Except for you enjoying some schadenfreude, what do you think gets better if the Republicans get a majority in the Senate?

  14. edmondo says:

    @gVOR08:

    what do you think gets better if the Republicans get a majority in the Senate?

    Nothing, but at least we will get rid of a half dozen corporatist Democrats – and that’s a good thing.

  15. Grewgills says:

    @stonetools:
    I hope you’re right, but I’m skeptical.

  16. Grewgills says:

    @edmondo:
    Well, at least you’ve let the disappointed lib thing slip away completely. Kudos for that.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    …Paul Ryan…scourge of government spending and slashing the social safety net…who himself is heir to a fortune made in government contracts and has never held a significant private sector job.

    and gives out copies of Atlas Shrugged, apparently thinking of himself as John Galt.

  18. Pinky says:

    @gVOR08: I don’t expect to feel any schadenfreude. It stinks to be on the losing end of a campaign. As someone who has worked on a few campaigns over the years, I feel a lot of kinship with the people who stand out in the rain handing out flyers, whichever side they’re on. It’s a whole Fremen “long live the warriors” thing. We’re going to lose a few heartbreakers this year, and some of our wins are going to break hearts on the other side.

    I think I looked at this question of yours for too long, and I’m overthinking it. But I have to ask the meta-question: do you realize that there are people who support policies that you don’t? I realize that you didn’t ask “how in the world could anyone want to see a Republican Senate” but it feels like that could be behind your question.

    Now to the question itself. There are a lot of policies that I think a Republican House and Senate could address. I’d like to see some reasonable improvements to the ACA – which doesn’t mean I want to see sick people die, by the way. I’d like to see some parts of welfare reform and immigration policy enforced – which isn’t to say that I hate the brown or black man. I think we can rein in the EPA – and that’s not the same thing as saying I want to poison the water and air. All of these things can be addressed through the congressional purse strings, which hasn’t been the case lately. There are other things I’d like to see, such as some kind of reform of the tax code. I notice that I don’t hear Republicans talking about cutting taxes, but streamlining the code. That’s a good sign. Entitlement reform, too.

    And speaking of the budget process, could it be any more messed up than it is now? I really think that it’s put-up-or-shut-up time for the first party to hold both houses of Congress. If that happens to be the GOP, all the better, as far as I’m concerned. Ditto foreign policy. No more “I’m not going to stick my neck out because I know the other house will kill any bill on arrival”.

    Beyond that, I want to see the party regain its confidence. You have to realize that when we look at the White House, we see the same thing you guys did eight years ago, a preening dullard, a naked emperor. A rookie. There’s something dispiriting about being stomped by someone you don’t respect. Twice. The Republicans have the majority in the House, a high count in the Senate, most governors and state houses, but they feel like they’re losing. We have got to gain our footing again. We’re going to need that confidence during the coming presidential cycle.

  19. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:

    I’d like to see some reasonable improvements to the ACA…
    I’d like to see some parts of welfare reform and immigration policy enforced…
    I think we can rein in the EPA…
    There are other things I’d like to see, such as some kind of reform of the tax code.

    The Democrats are the only party interested in improving the ACA. The Republicans either want to pull it our root and branch or are too afraid to say otherwise.
    There are a few reasonable Republicans on immigration, but they are far outnumbered by the build a wall stop it all and no talking about anything comprehensive until we get our way completely crowd. The only way to reasonable immigration reform is to have a coalition of those few Republicans and Democrats.
    We disagree on the EPA, but the Republicans that get airtime are more along the lines of tear it our root and branch, rather than reasonable reform.
    I assume we will disagree on tax policy as well and would love to see a Republican tax reform plan that isn’t aimed almost exclusively at the wealthiest 1%-10%, but I don’t see that happening.
    Do you really see any national Republicans that are willing to work with Democrats on reasonable reforms to the ACA? I know there are a few on immigration, but that stance seems to put them on the outs with the majority of the party.

  20. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills:

    Do you really see any national Republicans that are willing to work with Democrats on reasonable reforms to the ACA?

    The Galen Institute (I never heard of them before – they could be complete cranks) lists 16 changes to the law that have been passed by Congress and signed by President Obama:
    Military benefits
    VA benefits
    drug-price clarification
    Doc-fix tax
    extending the adoption credit
    TRICARE for adult children
    1099 repealed
    no free-choice vouchers
    no Medicaid for well-to-do seniors
    CO-OPs, IPAB, IRS defunded
    Slush-fund savings
    less cash for Louisiana
    CLASS Act eliminated
    cutting CO-OPs
    Trimming the Medicare trust-fund transfer
    eliminating caps on deductibles for small group plans

    (A lot of the lists of Republican bills to eliminate Obamacare that you see online include bills like these that modify the law.) I don’t know how reasonable you consider each of these, but if they made it through both houses, they must have gotten some support from members of both parties.

  21. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills:

    I assume we will disagree on tax policy as well and would love to see a Republican tax reform plan that isn’t aimed almost exclusively at the wealthiest 1%-10%, but I don’t see that happening.

    As I said, I haven’t been hearing talk about tax cuts so much as reform and simplification. Now, any reduction in federal income tax is bound to impact the top 50% of earners, because the bottom 50% doesn’t pay federal income tax. The so-called Bush tax cuts were fairly evenly distributed across the income brackets. But given that the top whatever percent pays more taxes, any across-the-board rate reduction can be portrayed as mostly for the rich. It’s very likely that any entitlement reform will result in higher taxes at the upper end.

  22. gVOR08 says:

    I appreciate the thoughtful response, and I’ll try to reciprocate. (Even though it’s too late in this thread to expect anybody except Gregwills to read it.)

    Yes, I do realize there are people who support conservative policies, and for coherent and respectable reasons. I originally asked the question of Doug. There was a certain amount of implied snark specific to Doug and James, why are you still Republicans? (OK, libertarian. What.ever.) But mostly it’s honest curiosity. Given the gridlock, filibuster, and veto; what difference do Republicans feel it would actually make?

    You list some policy preferences. At this 30,000 foot level you’d be surprised how much of it I agree with. (I suspect much less so at the down in the dirt level.) The ACA can and should be improved, there is too much regulation, the government is too big and too expensive. Further, I believe that after 225 years the government has become impossibly complex and hugely sclerotic. Obama didn’t produce an insurance friendly ACA because he likes them, it’s that nothing can be done without major lobbying support. But you raise valid points. However, and I may be over-parsing your words, it doesn’t sound like you believe an R majority Senate would do anything sensible about these issues any more than I do.

    I find I generally agree with Bruce Bartlett on taxes. Chairman Camp did propose good, revenue and distribution neutral, reforms. I don’t recall seeing any commentary that didn’t regard his plan as DOA. And not for lack of Dem support.

    I was surprised you didn’t mention appointments. That will make a difference. And I suspect several departments, including Justice, may run with interim heads ‘til ’17.

    Obviously I disagree with your characterization of Obama. And you greatly oversimplify my view of W. (And we only lost to W once, the first time we lost to SCOTUS.) For a Republican partisan your desire to win in ’14 to “retain confidence” and set the stage for ’16 is perfectly understandable, as I hope my desire otherwise is. However, I don’t see Republicans as losing. They’re doing very well at the state level and they have tons of money. They have the House and likely will get a small majority in the Senate.

    You responded thoughtfully with some valid reasons an R Senate might make a difference. I’ve tried to be respectful, thoughtful, and responsive. Time, day job, and the blog comment format militate against that sort of thing. Snark at ten paces tomorrow.

  23. Pinky says:

    @gVOR08: Yeah, thoughtful is no fun. There are all these pies sitting around unthrown.

    I haven’t read Dave Camp’s proposal, but I will.

  24. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    I was a bit surprised to see that 10 of the 16 congressionally approved changed occurred in the Republican controlled house. I was not surprised that almost all of them were cuts. I do think there are some Republicans, like Snowe, that could be on board with some real fixes other than just cuts. I do hope that they will be a bit more forward soon.

  25. Pinky says:

    @gVOR08:

    I was surprised you didn’t mention appointments. That will make a difference. And I suspect several departments, including Justice, may run with interim heads ‘til ’17.

    I disagree. That’s the kind of thing that the out-party always fears, but it doesn’t actually happen. There might be a nominee who gets sacrificed to the fire gods, but only if he’s really out there. It would take a lot for a nominee to get one or fewer Republican votes. The next AG might have to promise to appoint a special prosecutor for the IRS scandal. Something like that. Expect some horse-trading, more than the White House has been used to (more than it feels comfortable with).

    The blog comment format only permits superficiality, it doesn’t require it.