Kentucky U.S. Senate Race Zeroes In On Women Electorate

By Kayla Moody

Published 07/30 2014 10:55PM

Updated 07/30 2014 11:18PM

Kentucky's Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate swings her campaign trail through Owensboro. Alison Lundergan Grimes is in town as part of her "Road to Fancy Farm Tour."

Grimes is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the November election. Wednesday evening Grimes' supporters rallied to hear her speak at the grand opening of the Daviess County Democratic Headquarters.

"I did not expect to see such a huge turnout for Mitch McConnell's farewell tour," said Grimes shortly after taking the podium.

She talked about equal pay, the farm bill, creating jobs, and the upcoming fancy farm picnic, where politicos will come from all over to chat with the Kentucky electorate. "It doesn't come around too often, kinda like Mitch McConnell actually saying yes to something in Washington, D.C. [...] You see Mitch McConnell he's become confused on a lot of things lately. For some reason he thinks Duke is in Kentucky and it's not. He thinks Barack Obama is on the ballot and he's not."

McConnell's campaign responded to Grimes tour. "Alison Lundergan Grimes is traveling around Kentucky pretending like she wasn't a delegate for Barack Obama, that she didn't support the Obama platform, and she didn't cast not one, but two ballots for Barack Obama," said Allison Moore, press secretary for Team Mitch.

With Election Day just three months away, the race is growing more intense every day. Most recently, women's issues are being thrown into the ring as McConnell and Grimes grapple for the lead. Women make up more than half of Kentucky voters. In a February Bluegrass Poll women favored Grimes by 12 points, but now, McConnell trails by a single point.

Wednesday Grimes' campaign released a television advertisement where Ilene Woods, of Lynch, Kentucky, questions McConnell about his voting record regarding women's issues.

"Senator, why did you vote two times against the Violence Against Women Act, and against enforcing equal pay for women?" asks Woods.

According to McConnell's campaign, McConnell originally served as co-author of the VAWA, but he did vote against it twice. Once because it was attached to an assault weapons ban he opposed. Later, because he felt Democrats had expanded it too far.

"Senator McConnell's got a lot of excuses a lot of excuses for constantly saying no. To the people against Kentucky, especially to the women of this state," said Grimes. "He's gonna have to explain his horrible voting record as it relates to the Violence Against Womens Act. How and why he's not man enough to actually stand up and protect the women of Kentucky against violence.

"Running for office exclusively on the Obama agenda isn't doing the trick for Alison Lundergan Grimes so apparently she's decided to run three straight absurdly inaccurate attack ads," said Moore. "Sen. McConnell has been a leader throughout his career on combating domestic violence, including on the very law her ridiculous Obama-inspired attack ad is citing."

Tying Grimes to the president has become commonplace in statements and attack ads. "As Barack Obama's Kentucky candidate Alison Grimes repeats the same falsehoods Obama does," says one ad.

As the mudslinging continues, the race remains a tossup. The most recent Bluegrass Poll suggests McConnell has a 2-percent lead on Grimes. It's the first he's led Grimes in that particular poll.

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