Grimes pollster suggests race is tied
© Getty Images

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes's own pollster suggested Thursday his candidate is still tied with Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Chances for disaster aid deal slip amid immigration fight MORE (R-Ky.) in her internal polls.

His comments came as Crossroads GPS, an outside GOP group backing McConnell, released its own poll showing McConnell leading Grimes by seven points.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We’re not ahead. But we hope to be on Election Day," said pollster Mark Mellman during an event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, according to U.S. News.

U.S. News initially reported the comments as Mellman admitting Grimes trailed McConnell, but the pollster pushed back in a tweet, calling the story "inaccurate," suggesting the challenger is tied. Grimes' campaign declined to comment on their internal polling.

Grimes's last internal poll, conducted in late September, showed her leading McConnell by two points. At that time, Mellman held a conference call with reporters to push back on a series of public polls that had shown McConnell opening up a lead in the race.

Most public polling since then has shown the incumbent with a lead outside the margin of error, and the Crossroads GPS survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, continues that trend.

It offers a far rosier picture for the incumbent than most public polls, however, giving him a nine-point lead with white female voters and showing voters evenly split on how they feel about him, a reversal in fortunes for the man once polled as the least popular senator in the nation.

The survey, conducted among 600 likely voters from Oct. 25-27, gives McConnell 50 percent support to Grimes' 43 percent support among likely voters. It has a margin of error of four percent.

Earlier this month national Democrats withdrew their investment from the race, a sign they saw Grimes as a lost cause, but last week they announced a new investment in the race after seeing favorable polling.

Both sides agree the race is tight, though McConnell is believed to have a slight advantage. Still, Grimes is running hard in the final stretch, and is campaigning with former President Clinton on Thursday.

—This piece was updated at 2:30 p.m. to reflect Mark Mellman's tweet and new polling.