- The Washington Times - Monday, October 6, 2014

Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes broke into the lead over Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell in a new poll released Monday.

The Bluegrass Poll showed Mrs. Grimes with a 46 percent to 44 percent lead with likely voters. Mr. McConnell, a five-term incumbent and Senate Republican leader, has been in front in most previous polls.

“McConnell suddenly and unexpectedly looks wobbly,” said SurveyUSA pollsters, which conducted the survey last week for the Louisville Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader.

The Kentucky race is among about a dozen toss-up contests in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate, and only one of three toss-up races where the seat is currently held by a Republican.

The Grimes campaign touted the new poll as a sign of momentum for her candidacy.

“Today’s new Bluegrass Poll reflects the overwhelming grassroots enthusiasm Alison and our campaign see everyday across the Commonwealth,” said Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst. “Throughout this campaign, Mitch McConnell has attempted to convince the Washington cocktail circuit and other pundits that this race is not close. However, today, Kentuckians made their voice heard: they are ready for a new Senator who will put the people of Kentucky first — not one who cares more about his own self-promotion.”

The McConnell campaign, however, cast doubt upon the findings.

“After fourteen straight public polls all showing Sen. McConnell with a clear lead, this Bluegrass Poll is obviously an outlier. We’re very comfortable with where this race stands and are confident Sen. McConnell will be re-elected in November,” said McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore.

University of Kentucky political science professor Stephen Voss agreed.

“I would take these results with a grain of salt, given that they deviate from everything we’ve seen recently,” Mr. Voss said told the Currier-Journal. “I don’t buy the absolute totals. I think she’s still behind.”

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