- The Washington Times - Friday, May 30, 2014

With the Kentucky party primaries for U.S. Senate in the books, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell now holds a 7-point lead over his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, a new poll said.

Rasmussen Reports said its survey of likely Kentucky voters found Mr. McConnell, a Republican, leads Ms. Grimes by 48-41 percent. Five percent like some other candidate, and 7 percent are undecided.

The two candidates were tied at 42 percent in January, before Mr. McConnell handily defeated tea party-backed businessman Matt Bevin.

Rasumussen found that 76 percent of state Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats back Mr. McConnell, while 67 percent of Democrats and 18 percent of GOP voters back Ms. Grimes. Unaffiliated voters prefer the Democrat by three points, it said.

On health care, 94 percent of voters with a very favorable opinion of Obamacare support Mrs. Grimes, while Mr. McConnell garnered 78-percent support from those with a very unfavorable view of thel aw.

The Obama administration’s position on coal has also played a role in the race.

“President Obama’s plan to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants is a sore subject in coal-producing states like Kentucky, and Grimes has gone out of her way to portray herself as a pro-coal Democrat at odds with Obama. … McConnell has the support of 74 percent of voters who think the administration wants to outlaw the coal industry,” the poll found.