United States Senate election in Kentucky, 2014

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United States Senate election in Kentucky, 2014
Kentucky
← 2008 November 4, 2014 2020 →
Turnout 46.27%
  Mitch McConnell portrait 2016.jpg Alison Lundergan Grimes by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Nominee Mitch McConnell Alison Lundergan Grimes
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 806,787 584,698
Percentage 56.2% 40.7%

Kentucky Senate Election Results by County, 2014.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Mitch McConnell
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Mitch McConnell
Republican

The 2014 United States Senate election in Kentucky took place on November 4, 2014 to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky, concurrently with elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections.

Incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, ran for re-election to a sixth term.[1] He faced Democratic nominee and Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes and Libertarian nominee David Patterson in the general election.

The race was initially considered one of the most competitive in the 2014 election year.[2] The Cook Political Report considered the race a toss up and the Rothenberg Political Report considered the race to "lean Republican."[3][4] McConnell ultimately defeated Grimes by a larger-than-expected margin.[5]

Republican primary[edit]

Immediately after a secret recording of Mitch McConnell and his campaign staff was released to Mother Jones, McConnell expressed concerns about what he saw as a threat from the left. David Adams, a Kentucky Tea Party activist who was seeking a Republican opponent to McConnell, told The New York Times that McConnell's fears about "threats from the left" were misplaced. Adams said: "It's going to come from the right. The fact that he's coming unglued about this thing should make clear to observers that he may not be ready for the challenge that lies ahead."[6]

McConnell won the primary with 60.2% of the vote.[7] According to analysis by the University of Minnesota, this is the lowest voter support for a Kentucky U.S. Senator in a primary by either party since 1938.[8]

Candidates[edit]

Candidate Matt Bevin

Declared[edit]

Withdrew[edit]

  • Gurley L. Martin, World War II Veteran and candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2010[15][16]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Mitch
McConnell
Matt
Bevin
Brad
Copas
Chris
Payne
Shawna
Sterling
Undecided
Bluegrass Poll May 14–16, 2014 605 ± 4% 55% 35% 1% 1% 3% 5%
Gravis Marketing May 12, 2014 629 ± 4% 48% 34% 18%
NBC News/Marist April 30–May 6, 2014 760 ± 3.6% 55% 22% 1% 3% 2% 17%
Gravis Marketing April 15–17, 2014 638 ± 4% 51% 34% 15%
Public Opinion Strategies February 24–26, 2014 400 ± 4.9% 61% 23% 16%
Wenzel Strategies February 8–11, 2014 377 ± 5.03% 58.5% 17.4% 24.1%
Bluegrass Poll January 30–February 4, 2014 404 ± 4.9% 55% 29% 15%
Gravis Marketing January 2, 2014 683 ± 4% 53% 31% 16%
Public Policy Polling December 12–15, 2013 540 ± 4.2% 53% 26% 21%
Lake Research Partners October 24–29, 2013 603 ± 4% 50% 17% 33%
Voter/Consumer Research ^ August 18–20, 2013 600 ± 4% 68% 21% 8%
Wenzel Strategies July 23–24, 2013 302 ± 5.6% 58.9% 19.9% 21.2%
  • ^ Internal poll for Mitch McConnell campaign

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mitch McConnell 213,753 60.19%
Republican Matt Bevin 125,787 35.42%
Republican Shawna Sterling 7,214 2.03%
Republican Chris Payne 5,338 1.51%
Republican Brad Copas 3,024 0.85%
Total votes 355,116 100.00%

Democratic primary[edit]

In late 2012 and early 2013, media speculation focused on the possibility of a challenge to incumbent Mitch McConnell from actress and Tennessee resident Ashley Judd,[52] who was raised in Kentucky. Judd later announced that she would not seek the Democratic nomination. On April 9, Mother Jones magazine released a tape of a private meeting between McConnell and, allegedly, his aides reviewing opposition research and tactics to use against Judd. At the February strategy session, McConnell referred to the early stages of his re-election bid as the "Whac-A-Mole period of the campaign" and he and aides discussed attacking Judd's religious views as well as her struggle with depression.[53][54]

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the sitting Secretary of State, entered the primary race with the encouragement of former President Bill Clinton, a friend of Grimes' father, a former Kentucky politician.[55] On May 20, 2014, she won the Democratic primary with 77% of the vote.[56][57] Hollywood executives Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Katzenberg have hosted fundraising events for her in New York City and Beverly Hills.[58] Her father's involvement in the campaign has been noted as a factor in the race because of his personal political history and fundraising connections he brings.[59][60]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Withdrew[edit]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Polling[edit]

Results[edit]

Democratic primary results[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alison Lundergan Grimes 307,821 76.47%
Democratic Greg Leichty 32,602 8.10%
Democratic Burrel Farnsley 32,310 8.03%
Democratic Tom Recktenwald 29,791 7.40%
Total votes 402,524 100.00%

Libertarian primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

  • David Patterson, police officer[107]

Results[edit]

Patterson won the Libertarian primary on March 1, 2014. While he ran unopposed, all Libertarian Party candidates must defeat None of the above (NOTA) in the primary operated by the Libertarian Party of Kentucky.[108] He became an official ballot-listed candidate on August 11 after submitting over 9,100 signatures.[109]

Independents[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Withdrew[edit]

General election[edit]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Mitch
McConnell (R)
Alison
Lundergan
Grimes (D)
David
Patterson (L)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling October 30–November 1, 2014 1,503 ± 2.5% 50% 42% 3% 5%
53% 44% 4%
NBC News/Marist October 26–30, 2014 556 ± 4.2% 50% 41% 5% <1% 3%
894 ± 3.3% 49% 39% 6% <1% 6%
Public Policy Polling October 26–30, 2014 556 LV ± 4.2% 50% 41% 5% <1% 3%
894 RV ± 3.3% 49% 39% 6% <1% 6%
SurveyUSA/Bluegrass Poll October 26–30, 2014 597 ± 4.1% 48% 43% 3% 6%
Public Opinion Strategies October 25–27, 2014 600 ± 4% 50% 43% 4% 0% 3%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov October 16–23, 2014 1,502 ± 4% 45% 39% 2% 0% 14%
Voter Consumer Research^ October 16–19, 2014 815 ± 3.5% 49% 41% 3% 7%
SurveyUSA/Bluegrass Poll October 15–19, 2014 655 ± 3.9% 44% 43% 5% 8%
WKU/Big Red Poll October 6–19, 2014  ? LV ± ?% 45.4% 41.7% 5.3% 7.6%
601 RV ± 4% 45.1% 40% 5.41% 9.46%
Rasmussen Reports October 15–16, 2014 1,000 ± 3% 52% 44% 2% 2%
Gravis Marketing October 11–12, 2014 1,020 ± 3% 50% 47% 3%
Fox News October 4–7, 2014 706 3.5% 45% 41% 3% 3% 8%
Bluegrass Poll September 29–October 2, 2014 632 ± 4% 44% 46% 3% 7%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov September 20–October 1, 2014 1,689 ± 3% 47% 41% 2% 1% 9%
Mellman Group* September 19–27, 2014 1,800 ± 2.3% 40% 42% 3% 16%
Gravis Marketing September 13–16, 2014 839 ± 3% 51% 41% 8%
ccAdvertising September 9–16, 2014 2,282 ± ? 42% 33% 25%
Ipsos September 8–12, 2014 944 LV ± 3.6% 46% 42% 5% 6%
1,755 RV ± 2.7% 36% 38% 9% 17%
Mellman Group* September 4–7, 2014 800 LV ± 3.5% 42% 43% 15%
Magellan Strategies September 4–7, 2014 742 LV ± 3.6% 50% 42% 6% 2%
NBC News/Marist September 2–4, 2014 691 LV ± 3.7% 47% 39% 8% <1% 6%
1,184 RV ± 2.8% 45% 38% 9% <1% 8%
Public Opinion Strategies September 1–3, 2014 600 LV ± 4% 47% 42% 4% 7%
Rasmussen Reports September 1–2, 2014 750 ± 4% 46% 41% 7% 6%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov August 18–September 2, 2014 2,130 ± 3% 47% 42% 2% 9%
CNN/ORC August 28–September 1, 2014 671 ± 4% 50% 46% 1% 3%
Bluegrass Poll August 25–27, 2014 569 ± 4.2% 46% 42% 5% 8%
Public Policy Polling August 7–10, 2014 991 ± 3.1% 44% 40% 7% 9%
47% 42% 11%
Wenzel Strategies August 6, 2014  ? ± ? 47% 44% 4% 5%
48% 44% 8%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov July 5–24, 2014 1,546 ± 4.2% 49% 45% 2% 4%
SurveyUSA July 18–23, 2014 604 ± 4.1% 41% 39% 7% 13%
47% 45% 8%
Gravis Marketing July 17–20, 2014 1,054 ± 3% 45% 45% 10%
Public Policy Polling June 20–22, 2014 682 ± 3.8% 46% 48% 6%
Public Opinion Strategy June 14–17, 2014 800 ± ? 48% 43%
Magellan Strategies June 4–5, 2014 808 ± 3.45% 46% 49% 5%
Rasmussen Reports May 28–29, 2014 750 ± 4% 48% 41% 5% 7%
Wenzel Strategies May 23–24, 2014 608 ± 3.95% 47.3% 44.4% 8.3%
Bluegrass Poll May 14–16, 2014 1,782 ± 2.1% 42% 43% 4% 4%[115] 7%
NBC News/Marist April 30–May 6, 2014 2,353 ± 2% 46% 45% 1% 8%
Hickman Analytics April 24–30, 2014 500 ± 4.4% 46% 45% 9%
Gravis Marketing April 15–17, 2014 1,359 ± 3% 43% 36% 9%[115] 12%
New York Times/Kaiser Family April 8–15, 2014 891 ± ? 44% 43% 3% 11%
Public Policy Polling April 1–2, 2014 663 ± 4% 44% 45% 11%
Wenzel Strategies February 8–11, 2014 1,002 ± 3.06% 43.2% 41.8% 15.1%
Bluegrass Poll January 30–February 4, 2014 1,082 ± 3% 42% 46% 12%
Rasmussen Reports January 29–30, 2014 500 ± 4.5% 42% 42% 6% 10%
Public Policy Polling January 24–26, 2014 882 ± ?% 45% 44% 11%
Gravis Marketing January 2, 2014 1,153 ± 4% 42% 37% 8%[115] 13%
Public Policy Polling December 12–15, 2013 1,509 ± 2.5% 43% 42% 15%
DFM Research October 21–29, 2013 600 ± 4% 41% 40% 19%
Lake Research Partners October 24–29, 2013 603 ± 4% 37% 37% 6% 19%
Public Policy Polling October 14–15, 2013 1,193 ± 2.8% 43% 45% 12%
Lake Research Partners August 5–15, 2013 5,000 ± 1.4% 40% 46% 14%
Wenzel Strategies July 23–24, 2013 624 ± 3.9% 48% 39.7% 12.2%
Public Policy Polling July 19–21, 2013 1,210 ± 2.8% 44% 45% 11%
Wenzel Strategies June 1–2, 2013 623 ± 3.9% 46.5% 39.9% 13.6%
Public Policy Polling May 23–24, 2013 556 ± 4.2% 45% 45% 10%
Public Policy Polling April 5–7, 2013 1,052 ± 3% 45% 41% 14%
Public Policy Polling December 7–9, 2012 1,266 ± 2.8% 47% 40% 13%
  • ^ Internal poll for McConnell campaign
  • * Internal Poll for Grimes campaign

Results[edit]

2014 Kentucky U.S. Senate election[116]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mitch McConnell 806,787 56.19% +3.22%
Democratic Alison Lundergan Grimes 584,698 40.72% -6.31%
Libertarian David M. Patterson 44,240 3.09% n/a
n/a Write-ins 143 0.00% NA
Turnout 1,435,868 46.27% -15.71%
Republican hold Swing

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  106. ^ Timothy Cama (August 4, 2014). "Miners union endorses Grimes in Kentucky". The Hill. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  107. ^ "Libertarian candidate enters Senate race in Kentucky". Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  108. ^ "The Constitution of the Libertarian Party of Kentucky". Retrieved September 13, 2014. 
  109. ^ "Libertarian David Patterson Files 9,100 Signatures To Get Onto Kentucky Ballot For Senate". Retrieved September 13, 2014. 
  110. ^ "Information for Mike Maggard, Candidate for United State Senator". Kentucky Secretary of State. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  111. ^ "Neo-Nazi candidate for Senate stirs controversy". The Courier-Journal. September 25, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  112. ^ "Longtime Neo-Nazi Robert Ransdell Running For U.S. Senate". Southern Poverty Law Center. September 18, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  113. ^ "Information for Shawna Sterling, Candidate for United State Senator". Kentucky Secretary of State. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  114. ^ Youngman, Sam (July 16, 2014). "Independent Ed Marksberry stops gathering signatures for U.S. Senate run". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  115. ^ a b c d Ed Marksberry (I)
  116. ^ "2014 General Election Results" (PDF). elect.ky.gov. Kentucky State Board of Elections. 

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