After Much Derision, Democrats Get Candidate Against Mitch McConnell

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 1 2013 5:17 PM

After Much Derision, Democrats Get Candidate Against Mitch McConnell

168032805
Democratic Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes signs the Moet & Chandon 6L for the Churchill Downs Foundation during the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

My inbox is dark and full of terrors, and even more full of snark-tastic emails from party committees. No fewer than 37 times, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has sent out updates on the 2014 campaign scene that included some mockery of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Ever since Mitch McConnell had effectively spooked Ashley Judd out of a possible challenge, Republicans were in gloat mode. Democrats had polls that showed Grimes tied with McConnell—but where was she?

And so on, until ... today, when Grimes actually got into the race. The new Republican line is that Grimes botched her entry (she doesn't have a website splash for donations!), but come on, they'd been counting on her not to run! I see no reason why Kentucky voters would unseat McConnell in the second midterm election of a president they've voted against, twice.* They haven't voted in any Democrat to the Senate since 1992. But a Grimes-less race probably meant that McConnell could run without serious opposition and hand his campaign money to other Republicans. Unless/until Grimes falters, Democrats have a "tip of the spear" situation—they've pinned down the GOP minority leader in a real race, as Republicans did with Tom Daschle in 2004. (That ended well for Republicans.)

Advertisement

*McConnell's only had one truly easy election, his 2002 re-election against ... why, against a female holder of a statewide office, just like Grimes!

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
War Stories
Sept. 23 2014 4:04 PM The Right Target Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM Why Is Autumn the Only Season With Two Names?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 1:50 PM Oh, the Futility! Frogs Try to Catch Worms off of an iPhone Video.
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.