(crossposted at BlueGrassRoots)
A poll out today from the Herald-Leader makes it clear:
Kentuckians don’t like Mitch McConnell, and he is VULNERABLE in 2008.
Just as the last two Survey USA polls have shown, Kentuckians are starting to sour on their Senior Senator. Mitch McConnell’s approval rating has fallen to 45%, while his disapproval rating has risen to 46%, the first time that any poll has shown his disapprovals eclipsing approvals.
Additionally, McConnell continues to lose support from moderates in big numbers, as only 33% approve and 61% disapprove. His numbers among Independents aren’t much better, at 37/53%.
The LHL poll also shows potential Democrats well within firing range of McConnell in next year’s Senate race. Chandler, Stumbo, Horne and Luallen are all within 5 to 11% in a potential matchup against the incumbent McConnell in 2008.
The most impressive numbers among these potential challengers is that of Lt. Col. Andrew Horne. Despite the fact that Horne has low name recognition at the moment, with 55% having no opinion of him, he is still within distance of McConnell, down 45% to 34%. In comparison, the % of those having no opinion of Chandler, Stumbo and Luallen, are only 12, 13 and 23%, respectively. If Horne runs and wins the nomination, his name recognition would skyrocket, closing the gap with McConnell considerably (especially considering that Horne’s approval/disapproval among those who know him is at 36/9%). From Del Ali, the president of the company who conducted the poll:
“Here’s a guy that half the electorate really doesn’t know but yet when you put him against an incumbent whom nearly everyone knows, he’s in the race,” said Ali, the pollster. “It tells me the voters of Kentucky at least are open to someone to represent them differently in the U.S. Senate.”
Additionally, Horne is a harder target for McConnell to smear in a potential matchup than other Democrats. From the LHL:
And McConnell already has a reputation as a fierce campaigner who seizes on opponents’ political weaknesses.
For that reason, a candidate such as Horne could give McConnell the most fits, said (Democratic consultant, Danny) Briscoe.
“Chandler, Stumbo and Luallen all have public records that McConnell will look at as raw meat,” he said.
Horne is also more immune to attacks from McConnell on matters of national security than other potential candidates. Horne is a 27 year Marine vet who served in both Iraq wars. His experience on the ground in the current war, along with his vocal opposition to this unpopular policy in KY, would make him a difficult target of the expected “Defeatocrat, cut-and-runner” line of attack that will be sure to come from McConnell.
This election will be a brutal fight. McConnell is well known for being one of the most cutthroat campaigners that you’re ever going find. He is relentless in his attacks, and will stoop to anything to gain an edge.
This is why we need a new face in Kentucky politics to take him on. We need a candidate without baggage in their background that can be exploited. We need a candidate with character and spine, who will stand toe-to-toe with McConnell and not back down from a fight. We need an outsider, not a career politician who runs for office every year. We need a unifying candidate for all Kentuckians across this state.
We need Lt. Col. Andrew Horne.
(crossposted at BlueGrassRoots)