McConnell Leads In Primary, General Election Polls For 2014

Mitch McConnell

Among the most watched Senate races in 2014 will be the bid of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for re-election in the face of both a primary challenge from a relatively unknown Tea Party candidate and a General Election challenge from Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State. It’s still very early in the process, of course, but a new poll shows McConnell leading in both match-ups:

A fresh Republican poll shows Mitch McConnell crushing his GOP primary challenger and comfortably leading his Democratic opponent in Kentucky.

The Wenzel Strategies survey, in the field Tuesday and Wednesday nights, puts the Senate minority leader ahead of Matt Bevin by almost 40 points, 59 percent to 20 percent, among Republican primary voters. The rest said they are undecided.

Bevin, a wealthy Louisville businessman who announced his candidacy Wednesday, is largely undefined. He is viewed positively by 15 percent of respondents and negatively by 21 percent; two-thirds of voters indicated that they don’t have an opinion.

This makes Bevin vulnerable to the blistering attacks that McConnell already has unleashed to challenge his conservative bona fides.

McConnell leads Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes by 8 points, 48 percent to 40 percent, with 12 percent undecided. This is essentially unchanged from a survey they conducted a month ago.

Almost everyone has a view on the 28-year Senate veteran. In the poll, he is viewed favorably by 53 percent and unfavorably by 46 percent. Forty-one percent said they will definitely vote to reelect him, and 39 percent said they will definitely vote for someone else. Twenty percent said they will consider others besides McConnell.

One-quarter of voters still have no opinion of Grimes, whose father is a former chairman of the state Democratic Party. She’s seen favorably by 35 percent and unfavorably by 41 percent. A month ago, she was seen unfavorably by only 25 percent.

“My sense is that Kentucky voters are not excited about what they see so far in her candidacy but seem to be willing to give her at least one more look before passing an electoral judgment,” pollster Fritz Wenzel wrote in a memo accompanying the numbers, which were obtained exclusively by POLITICO.

There doesn’t seem to be anyone who thinks at the moment that McConnell will end up facing a serious challenge in the primary, but the General Election could be a different situation depending on whether or not Grimes is able to pull together a coherent campaign, something that hasn’t seemed very likely since she announced her candidacy earlier this month. For the moment, though, McConnell seems to be doing pretty well.

FILED UNDER: 2014 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Caj says:

    It’s time for this ridiculous waste of space to go! His primary goal is to block everything Obama wants and that is not for the good of the country it’s for the good of that pathetic excuse for a party! Time for a Democrat to take over in that backward state and bring it into the 21st century! McConnell is way past his sell by date. Time to put him out to pasture alongside all the other old turtles out there!

  2. edmondo says:

    Time for a Democrat to take over in that backward state and bring it into the 21st century!

    Yeah, they should elect a Democratic Governor…oh wait, they already did.

  3. rudderpedals says:

    When is the primary?

  4. HarvardLaw92 says:


    May 20, 2014

  5. rudderpedals says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I couldn’t find it in the article, thought it was coming up (“…a crushing lead…”). Thank you.

  6. William Wilgus says:

    Coarse he’z leedin’. It Kintucki, aftir ahl. He noz all the dirt on evribodi.