Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Kentucky Senate

McConnell has primary and general challenges in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There isn’t too much to see in Kentucky, really. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election only features a primary fight for the future of the Republican Party and a well-connected Democrat who’s benefiting from an entire party’s interest in taking him out.

The messaging in the race shifts fast enough to cause whiplash. As the top target of both national Democrats and the tea party, McConnell has been charged for being both the biggest obstructionist in Congress and for failing to obstruct President Barack Obama’s agenda enough.

The McConnell campaign has attempted to discredit his primary challenger, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, and keep its attention squared on his likely Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. But with Bevin’s personal financial resources and conservative backers aiming for their biggest score yet, McConnell can’t ignore him.

In the meantime, McConnell has worked to position himself as coal’s best friend in Washington, which could go a long way in a state where that industry is interconnected with every day life. He’s tied Grimes to Obama on coal and health care. Of course, the president’s health care overhaul law is a more complicated issue in the Bluegrass State, where the Democratic governor believes his expansion of Medicaid and creation of a state exchange will make the law popular there.

McConnell is clearly vulnerable. But in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1992, the onus is still on Grimes — running her first race for federal office — to prove to voters she won’t be just another vote in support of the president.

The race is rated Leans Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Editor’s note: Not all congressional races are created equal, and Roll Call’s politics desk admits to playing favorites. So in the spirit of the holidays, these are a few of our favorite things (races) to cover this cycle. We’re shining a spotlight on our 12 most fascinating races through the new year — in no particular order. Happy holidays from @RollCallPols!

Check out the rest of Roll Call’s most  fascinating races of 2014: California’s 31st District, California’s 17th District, Illinois’ 13th District, West Virginia’s 2nd DistrictArizona’s 2nd District, Mississippi Senate, Alaska Senate and Arkansas Senate.

  • Layla

    I am and will continue to support Matt Bevin in this race.

  • Fresh Mountain Air

    Common illusions conjured up by those attempting to impose centralized control include “social justice” and stopping “global warming”.

  • Bruno’s Beach

    Since our minds change with our efforts to adapt, the socialist narrative that man’s mind conceived & designed civilization must be false.

  • bpai99

    I am not willing to rule out the possibility that man conceived of civilization without a design in mind.

  • The Beech Bums

    If liberty’s greatest dangers lurk in its encroachment by well-meaning, yet ignorant, men of zeal, then today’s major domestic threats to liberty lie in the centralized powers of “expert” administrators.

  • Fresh Mountain Air

    While liberty is often confused with democratic processes, the right to vote does not imply that centralized control has been minimized or that those who are ineligible to vote are victims of coercion.

  • ExVariable

    Since liberty unleashes the knowledge of millions of free people, free countries are able to use far more knowledge than socialist systems.

  • terjeanderson

    Common illusions conjured up by those attempting to spam political discussion boards with irrelevant pseudo-libertarian bromides and is that they are doing anything other than annoying readers with their completely off-topic drivel.

    The spam that you sock-puppet idiots continue to post is as politically irrelevant as you are.

  • Benjamin Dover

    Although collectivists tend to claim that society has been “designed”, those of the liberty school understand that civilization has resulted from the decisions and actions of innumerable individuals over long periods of time.

  • One Thirsty Bear

    Those possessed with utopian delusions attack & undermine the key institutions, such as private property, upon which civilization depends.

  • left wing

    dump mitch

  • Rob_Chapman

    It is a shame that McConnell’s position as GOP leader in the Senate is not placed before the entire country for a vote.

    It is hard to see much beyond the backroom manuvering with a handful of other superannuated, out-of-touch ideologues to recommend this moss covered throwback for any sort of leadership position.
    McConnell’s time- if it ever existed- has come and gone.

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