McConnell Leads Allison Lundergan Grimes

Up 47 to 40 percent against likely Democratic opponent

Sen. Mitch McConnell / AP
June 5, 2013

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) leads his likely opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes 47 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The survey, performed by Republican pollster Wenzel Strategies, shows McConnell also leading Democrat Heather French Henry, a former Miss America, by a 46-40 margin.

Lundergan Grimes, currently the Kentucky Secretary of State, is considered to be McConnell’s most likely opponent at this point, although she has yet to officially declare her candidacy. French Henry is also mulling a run against the longtime Kentucky Republican.

The results contradict a Public Policy Poll from last week showing McConnell and Lundergan Grimes tied at 45 percent.

Senate Majority PAC, a group closely tied to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), paid for the PPP poll, which was widely touted by liberals as proof of McConnell’s unpopularity in his home state.

Of those surveyed in the PPP poll 50 percent self-identified as Democrats, while 35 percent said they were Republicans, and 15 percent said they were independents.

The Wenzel Strategies survey was conducted among 623 likely voters statewide and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 points. Of the respondents, 51 percent identified as Democrats, compared to Republicans at 39 percent and independents at 10 percent.

Fifty-four percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of the McConnell in the Wenzel poll. The PPP poll had shown McConnell "underwater" in approval ratings, with 47 percent disapproving of him and 44 percent approving.

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is seen in a favorable light by 68 percent of likely voters, while Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) is considered positively by 63 percent.

The McConnell campaign said the Wenzel poll showed the senator’s strength in the upcoming race.

"Clearly, Sen. McConnell is in a very strong position in Kentucky but he's not someone who feels entitled to the seat," McConnell campaign spokesman Jesse Benton said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. "We're building a presidential-level campaign organization and we're confident he'll earn the support of the vast majority of Kentuckians."