Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has defeated Matt Bevin easily in the Kentucky primary for U.S. Senate. He will now go on to face Alison Lundergan Grimes in November. Bevin, who enjoyed early excitement and the backing of several prominent conservative groups, had run a terrible campaign.
McConnell was successful at raising questions about Bevin’s seriousness as a candidate, and highlighted the claimed flip flop Bevin pulled on the TARP bailouts. People’s Pundit Daily called the race with just 7 percent of precincts reporting, when McConnell led by nearly a 30-point margin.
While McConnell has largely left Grimes alone in the state, the arial ad bombardment begins Wednesday. As previously reported by PeoplesPunditDaily.com, two independent expenditure groups that support Senator McConnell have bought a total of $5.2 million in ad time to hammer Grimes immediately after Tuesday’s primary election. Kentuckians for Strong Leadership — a PAC supporting McConnell, has reported raising more than $3.3 million already and will begin the effort to link Grimes to a deeply unpopular President Obama.
The We Are Kentucky PAC, the main PAC supporting Grimes, is lagging far behind on the fundraising race. They have yet to even run or reserve media advertising on behalf of Grimes, and recently reported raising just $32,500 in the first quarter of 2014. Since its inception last July, it has raised only $293,000. While the polls have shown a closer-than-expected contest, considering the state’s political leanings, they are likely to begin to move against Grimes.
Per election laws, McConnell is now able to tap his own massive — massive — campaign war chest. Since 2009, he has raised $21,686,624, with $10,145,566 cash on hand. The Kentucky Senate race is rated “Likely Republican” on our 2014 Senate Map Predictions.