Mitch McConnell is up for reelection in 2014 and although he should be a high priority conservative target for a primary challenge, he has a huge war chest and he’s hired Ron and Rand Paul’s campaign chairman extraordinaire, Jesse Benton, to try to discourage any Republicans from running against him.
Given Mitch McConnell’s horrible poll numbers, the bad news is that it may work.
Although Kentucky remains deeply Republican, McConnell’s low approval ratings — the worst of any senator nationally, according to PPP — could make him vulnerable. Just 37 percent of Kentucky voters approve of his performance, while 55 percent disapprove.
McConnell, who eked out a slim victory in 2008, has already begun preparing to fight for reelection. He hired former Ron Paul strategist Jesse Benton to run a “presidential-level campaign in Kentucky,” McConnell said in a statement in September.
…One challenger he might not have expected is Judd, who is reported to be seriously considering a Democratic bid. PPP found that Judd would be the top choice of Democratic primary voters, and would trail McConnell by just four points in a hypothetical matchup, 43 percent to his 47 percent.
McConnell led the state’s lieutenant governor, Jerry Abramson, and its attorney general, Jack Conway, by equal margins. He fared better against other prospective candidates, with his widest lead a 12-point margin over state auditor Adam Edelman.
Given that Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama by over 20 points in Kentucky, this should be a slam dunk seat for the GOP. The reason the seat is in jeopardy is because Mitch McConnell is so incredibly unpopular in the state. In that sense, it’s a lot like the situation we had in Missouri this year. Claire McCaskill was wildly unpopular and just about any Republican should have been able to beat her, but even though Akin knew his poll numbers showed he was in deep trouble, he selfishly insisted on running anyway. So, we ended up blowing a seat to feed his ego. Well now, we may be in the same boat in Kentucky because McConnell refuses to read the handwriting on the wall.
Mitch McConnell is 70 years old and he’s been in the Senate for 28 years. Isn’t it time for him to step aside for the good of the Republican Party?