FRANKFORT — McConnell is seeking a sixth term in hopes the GOP will this year take control of the Senate from Democrats and make him majority leader. But his poll numbers in Kentucky show he is viewed unfavorably by more people than those who approve of his performance and so he’s tried to make the campaign about Obama rather than about him and Grimes.
McConnell says Grimes will be beholden to Democrats Obama and current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid if she’s elected and that she will side with them in the “war on coal.” When he’s not tying her to opponents of coal, he’s trying to tie her to the Affordable Care Act, which polls poorly in Kentucky and which critics call “Obamacare.”
McConnell managed to tie the two together Tuesday in his floor speech, calling “the president’s national energy tax Obamacare 2.0” and calling the new rules “a dagger aimed right at the heart of the middle class.”
On the same day, Kentuckians for a Strong Leadership, a 527 Super PAC supporting McConnell and advised by former McConnell staffer Scott Jennings, went up with a new radio ad which says, “Here in Kentucky, Obama is supporting Alison Lundergan Grimes.” It goes on to say Grimes continued to support Obama even “after he declared war on our coal community.”
Meanwhile Grimes is starting newspaper ads in coal regions showing the face of a miner with the caption that “President Obama and Washington don’t get it … Alison Grimes does” and promising to “oppose anyone who works against Kentucky’s coal industry.”
State Rep. Rick Nelson, D-Middlesboro, represents Bell and part of Harlan County, in the heart of coal country. He says Grimes needs to do more such advertising and make personal appearances in the region to persuade voters she supports the coal industry.