Poll: Grimes tied with McConnell
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A new independent survey of the Kentucky Senate race shows Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment CNN's Cuomo promotes 'Dirty Donald' hashtag, hits GOP for 'loyalty oath' to Trump MORE (R-Ky.) locked in a dead heat with his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes.


The latest Bluegrass Poll, conducted by SurveyUSA for WHAS-TV, The Lexington Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV, gives McConnell 44 percent to Grimes' 43 percent among likely voters. Libertarian David Patterson takes 5 percent support.

That marks a decline in support for Grimes from three weeks ago, when the last Bluegrass Poll showed her taking 46 percent to McConnell's 44 percent.

And it offers further troubling news for Grimes: She's taken a hit to one of her biggest assets in the race, her personal popularity. In the latest survey, Grimes is underwater with voters, with 43 percent rating her unfavorably and 40 percent rating her favorably. 

McConnell is underwater as well, with 47 percent viewing him unfavorably and 38 percent viewing him favorably.

The Senate minority leader remains a top Democratic target due in large part to his deep unpopularity in the state. But Grimes has taken on water over the course of the campaign, most recently drawing criticism for repeatedly refusing to say whether she voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012.

The new Bluegrass Poll also suggests Grimes is underperforming with women, a key voting bloc Democrats are hoping will help them win in races nationwide, and one Grimes has made an extra effort to woo. She ties McConnell with men, but McConnell has a small lead with women.

Still, Democrats were encouraged at the continued closeness of the race, despite the recent tough headlines and negative ads hitting Grimes. For that reason, McConnell's campaign characterized the poll as an outlier, noting most recent surveys have shown McConnell opening up a small but steady lead.

Her campaign manager, Jonathan Hurst, saw the poll as reason to celebrate.

"Today's Bluegrass Poll proves that our campaign remains poised to win," he said in a statement. "Despite a spending surge in the last two weeks and dumping nearly $50 million to date, McConnell and his allies are in serious trouble."

The survey was conducted among 655 likely voters by online questionnaire and automated survey via landline from Oct. 15-19, and has a margin of error of 3.9 percent.