05.20.14 11:06 PM ET
McConnell Easily Wins GOP Kentucky Senate Primary
The Republican Senate primary in Kentucky was over faster than a one-sided cockfight.
After an ugly, bruising campaign, Tea Party hopeful Matt Bevin fell short in his attempt to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by a margin of 60%-36% with 89% of precincts reporting. The race was called minutes after polls closed in the Bluegrass State. Bevin, a millionaire who spent more than $1 million of his money, wasn’t able to lay a finger on McConnell, who was able to leverage both his national political influence and decades building the GOP in Kentucky to assemble a formidable political operation. McConnell even went so far as to hire Rand Paul’s brother-in-law as his campaign manager to
The death knell for Bevin came when he was caught lying about speaking at a pro-cockfighting rally in March but his campaign struggled as superPAC after superPAC spent millions on McConnell’s behalf. Although Bevin was backed by some outside conservative groups, he was never able to catch fire or match the Minority Leader’s relentless negative campaign against him.
McConnell faces an even tougher race ahead him in November as the GOP’s Senate leader is in a dead heat against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes to win the general election and, according to a recent poll, had an approval rating of only 34% among Kentucky voters. But November is a long time away and McConnell is still more popular than Obama in what is still a very Republican state.