Polls in Kentucky have now closed, and news networks are projecting that Mitch McConnell has been reelected as Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator, defeating Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Grimes raised a lot of money and ran a credible campaign in the eyes of many observers, but found going up against “Senator Gridlock” to be an incredibly difficult task. McConnell, a veteran campaigner, stuck to his strategy of running against President Obama and did just about everything possible to put Grimes on the defensive for the duration of the campaign.
The early numbers indicate he will prevail with a fairly comfortable margin of victory.
Grimes’ team tried mightily to put distance between herself and President Obama, hoping to blunt attacks by McConnell and the Republican Party, but it didn’t work.
A telling moment came late in the campaign, when Grimes was asked during debates if she voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Rather than simply saying yes and pivoting to go on offense, she refused to answer, and her principled stalling became a major story. Grimes found herself mocked on late night TV for refusing to simply give an upfront response.
Grimes did do a good job (at times) of attacking McConnell’s record and pillorying him for his opposition to raising the minimum wage and enacting equal pay for equal work. But McConnell never seemed fazed by Grimes or her campaign.