With Poll Showing Slim McConnell Lead, Clinton Comes to Grimes's Aid
The fall campaign season in Kentucky kicks off this weekend as candidates flock to a tiny corner of the Commonwealth known as Fancy Farm.
The annual St. Jerome Parish Picnic in the small western Kentucky city is political theater at its best and worst, with candidates dressing each other down and enthusiastic crowds hootin' and hollerin' just feet away.
And the barbecue is pretty good, too.
The marquee event at this year's Fancy Farm is the same as last year's: Senator Mitch McConnell versus Alison Lundergan Grimes. A poll released last week showed what all the previous poll have shown: that the race is a toss-up. However, this latest one had better news for McConnell as it finally showed the 5-term incumbent Senate Minority Leader, first elected in 1984, in the lead.
Grimes, the Democratic secretary of state, had previously maintained a small lead.
To gain her momentum back, Grimes announced that she was bringing in the biggest Democratic heavy-hitter of them all: President Bill Clinton. After her 14-county "Road to Fancy Farm" bus tour, Grimes will be joined by Clinton at two events. The former president has already come to Kentucky on Grimes's behalf once this year.
“We are humbled by President Clinton's continued commitment to our campaign and the hardworking people of Kentucky," Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst said. "The President shares Alison's vision for a strong middle class, and his support in electing Alison, a champion for working families, to the U.S. Senate is invaluable." On Wednesday, August 6, Clinton will appear with Grimes in Lexington and Hazard.
As McConnell continues to attach Grimes to President Barack Obama, an unpopular leader in Kentucky, Grimes hopes to turn attention to her connection to Clinton, the last Democratic presidential candidate to carry Kentucky, a feat he achieved twice.
Photo: McConnell and Grimes at Fancy Farm in 2013/RCN file