Gray rakes in fundraising haul, releases polling; McGrath Campaign remains close in fundraising, offers their own poll

04/06/2018 12:16 PM

LEXINGTON — Democratic 6th Dist. Congressional candidate Jim Gray has brought in a significant first quarter fundraising haul, reporting more than $790,000 dollars for the first three months of the year. The campaign also released an internal polling memo which shows Gray leading by double digits in the final 7 weeks of campaigning. Meanwhile, the campaign of first-time candidate Amy McGrath is also releasing their fundraising report, and calling into question Gray’s chances to win in November.

Gray’s campaign has raised more than $1.13 million since the campaign began in December and reports more than $825,000 in cash on hand. More than 70 percent of Gray’s contributions have come from Kentuckians, the campaign said.

The Gray campaign also released an internal polling memo showing Gray leading Democratic opponents Amy McGrath and Reggie Thomas by 33 percent in a three-way race. The poll, conducted on March 3-6, showed Gray with 52 percent support among likely primary voters, compared to 19 percent for challenger Amy McGrath and 6 percent for state Sen. Reggie Thomas. Twenty-three percent of voters are undecided.

The poll was conducted by Democratic pollster Mark Mellman before either Gray or McGrath campaigns took to the airwaves, and sampled 400 likely voters in the 6th Congressional Dist. Interviews were conducted on cell phone and landlines, and carried a +/- 4.9 percent margin of error.

“I’m thrilled with what we are seeing both in these numbers and out on the campaign trail,” said Jamie Emmons, Gray’s campaign manager. “But we still have a lot of work to do to send Jim to Washington so he can fight for access to quality healthcare and affordable education.”

Download the polling memo here: polling memo.pdf

McGrath’s campaign manager, Mark Nickolas sought to liken their campaign to that of a once little known candidate in a 2010 Kentucky U.S. Senate GOP primary.

“In 2010, Trey Grayson had great early numbers against a little known Rand Paul as well. That’s why you have campaigns. We couldn’t be happier about the state of the race,” Nickolas said. “But more importantly for Democrats who care about winning in November, recently general election polling shows Amy outperforming Gray by 20 points in a general election matchup and that’s why you’re seeing Andy Barr constantly attacking Amy McGrath, never Jim Gray.”

McGrath’s campaign responded to Pure Politics’ request for their first quarter fundraising numbers, their unofficial tally before the filing deadline shows the former Marine Corps fighter pilot with $665,000 raised in the first Quarter of the year.

McGrath’s campaign has $625,000 in cash-on-hand, and has raised $1.8 million since entering the race last year, according to the campaign’s unofficial tally.

An internal polling memo from the McGrath campaign pollster Garin Hart Yang shows positive growth potential into November.

The poll conducted February 5-7, 2018 is a General Election match up. The survey was conducted among landline and cell phones, and has a margin of error of +/- 5 percent.

“Despite facing an understandable name recognition deficit (Amy has 45% name ID compared with 90% for Jim Gray, who has held elected office for more than a decade in the district’s largest jurisdiction AND ran for the US Senate in 2016), Amy already is in a very competitive position in a general election against Andy Barr. In the initial trial heat, Amy trails Barr by just 48% to 44%, which makes the race very competitive and is an encouraging result for a new candidate. Gray does slightly better in the initial trial heat (49% Gray, 47% Barr), but the fact that Amy basically is in a dead heat with Barr (within the margin of error) despite her LOWER name ID indicates her stronger potential.

In fact, the results of the initial trial heat among voters who currently recognize Amy and Jim Gray illustrate her vote growth. Among voters who recognize “Amy McGrath,” Amy is ahead of Andy Barr by 60% to 38%. Among voters who recognize “Jim Gray,” Gray is ahead by only 50% to 48%.

Download the McGrath campaign’s memo here: McGrath Poll memo2.pdf

Gray’s campaign manager sought to refute the McGrath polling numbers in a statement sent to Pure Politics.

“The fact that they aren’t releasing the primary poll they conducted last December tells you all you need to know. It is surprising, however, after spending a million dollars, they would push a poll that shows McGrath losing to Barr,” Emmons said.

“Despite their attempts to label Jim the “establishment” candidate, the truth is that Jim is winning because he is the local candidate,” Emmons continued. “He’s well-known, well-liked and has devoted his life to making Central Kentucky a better place to live and work. It’s disappointing to see constant attacks from the McGrath campaign at a time when Democrats need to be united in fighting for the American people against unprecedented threats from the other side. We hope the McGrath campaign will refrain from running a scorched-earth, negative campaign or more threats about running as an independent that only serve to benefit Andy Barr.”

Sen. Reggie Thomas , Theodore Green, Daniel Kemph, and Geoff Young are all vying also vying for the Democratic nomination on May 22.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or



  • Geoff Young for Congress wrote on April 07, 2018 07:07 AM :

    Fascinating poll results. Crooked Amy & Crooked Reggie should drop out now. But Crooked Jim will NEVER be able to beat Andy Barr (R-al Qaeda). Jim Gray (D-Neocon), you can’t campaign if you’re in a federal prison cell for felony election fraud.

    I will never stop trying to end Crooked Jim’s political career. He’s a pro-war, far-right-wing, aggressive, reckless, savage neocon who will make a nuclear war much more likely if he ever gets to Congress. Jim Gray is an enemy of humanity & an enemy of peace. I’ll never stop running against him, even if he wins.

    Geoff Young (D): Kentucky “Democratic” Party Can’t Stop Rigging Primaries

    Please contact U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr. at the Lexington Main Phone Number: (859) 233-2661 – and leave a message asking him to indict 122 powerful “Democrats” for ongoing election fraud. He has the authority to do it, based on the information I mailed to him. If the month of April goes by with no indictments, I am going to demand the immediate arrest of these 122 crooked “Democrats” by federal marshals.

    Media Release – For Immediate Release – March 30, 2018 – Lexington, KY

    On 3/22/18, the Kentucky “Democratic” Party and/or the “Democratic” Woman’s Club of Kentucky called the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office to send an officer to remove me from the club’s annual meeting. The location was the “Democratic” Party Headquarters building on Democrat Drive.

    During a break in the meeting, Deputy Sheriff James Stepp walked up to me. I was sitting at a table in the back of the room minding my own business. He asked me to come outside, and our conversation is summarized on pp. 25-27 of the following document, which I mailed to U.S. Attorney Rob Duncan yesterday (March 29, 2018):…/Criminal02v2%20Compl%20US…

    The 69-page document is titled, “Official, Notarized Criminal Complaint Against Certain Powerful Democrats for Ongoing Election Fraud and Violations of Geoff Young’s Constitutional Rights (Federal and Kentucky) – Updated.” I mailed Version 1 to the two U.S. Attorneys for Kentucky and the FBI in Louisville on 2/22/18. I’m asking them to indict 122 powerful Kentucky Democrats, including the following people and organizations:

    1. Ben Self, Current Chairperson of the Kentucky “Democratic” Party
    2. Sannie Overly, former Chair of the KDP from 1/30/16 to 11/11/17
    3. Patrick Hughes, former Chair of the KDP from 2/6/15 to 1/30/16
    4. Dan Logsdon, former Chair of the KDP from 2010 to 2/6/15
    5. Mary Nishimuta, Executive Director of the KDP
    6. Charlotte Flanery
    7. Ronnie Bastin
    8. Mark Barnard
    9. Reggie Thomas
    10. Amy McGrath
    11. Jim Gray
    12. Adam Edelen
    13. Jack Conway, former Attorney General of Kentucky
    14. Steve Beshear, former Governor of Kentucky
    15. Attorney General Andy Beshear
    16. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
    17. The Kentucky Young Democrats and whoever was Chairperson on 8/26/17
    18. The College Democrats of Kentucky and whoever was Chairperson on 8/26/17
    19. George Russell, Franklin Co. Chairperson and member of State Board of Elections
    20. Albert B, Chandler III, member of State Board of Elections
    21. Donald W. Blevins, member of State Board of Elections
    22. Maryellen Allen, former Executive Director of the State Board of Elections
    23. Greg Copley, Attorney General’s Office
    24. Barbara Whaley, retired from Attorney General’s Office
    25. Shawna Kincer, Attorney General’s Office
    26. Jon Salomon, Esq.
    27. Adam K. Neel, Esq.
    28. Kristin E. McCall, Esq.
    29. Mark Guilfoyle, Esq.
    30. Jennifer A. Moore, Esq.
    31. Abigale Rhodes Green, Esq.
    32. Bailey Roese, Esq.
    33. Christie A. Moore, Esq.
    34. Matt James, Assistant Attorney General
    35. Estelle Bayer, member of the Democratic Woman’s Club of Kentucky
    36. Clint Morris, Chairperson of the Fayette County “Democratic” Party

    51. Donna Moore Campbell

    56. Angela Evans
    57. Chris Ford
    58. Denise Gray

    60. Josh Hicks

    67. Bob McNulty
    68. Josh Mers

    77. Alayne White

    93. Kathy Hinkle and the Democratic Woman’s Club of Kentucky

    The State Central Executive Committee of the KDP and all of its voting members.

    Young also has a federal lawsuit pending against the KDP and FCDP for election fraud, which is now before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Young stated: “This criminal conspiracy has been continuing to violate my freedom of speech, the KDP Bylaws, and Kentucky election laws, even while my civil lawsuit is still pending against them. They don’t seem to pay any attention to election fraud, the rights of Democratic voters to participate in fair elections, or the rule of law.”

    For more details or to arrange an interview, please contact:

    Geoff Young for Congress
    (859) 278-4966
    Campaign web site:

  • T.Coner wrote on April 07, 2018 09:36 AM :

    I can see why Geoff Young is trailing so pathetically bad in the campaign. Do you really think this kind of rant is going to rally any support?

  • T.Coner wrote on April 07, 2018 09:36 AM :

    I can see why Geoff Young is trailing so pathetically bad in the campaign. Do you really think this kind of rant is going to rally any support?

  • Raymond Hurst wrote on April 07, 2018 10:39 AM :

    One would have to assume Geoff Young is a member of some Party other than the Democrat Party. His list of people he wants to sue or put in jail, includes most of the Democrat voters in the state it seems; even our young people (The Kentucky Young Democrats); many of whom are in their teens and early 20’s, and up to 40 years of age. Obviously his philosophy is to lock up all the Democrat voters in the state and his Party can win by default. Since I have publicly criticized him; I guess I will be added to his list. You go Geoff!!!!! Go somewhere, go anywhere but here.

  • Raymond Hurst wrote on April 07, 2018 11:02 AM :

    To get back to the subject; The Democratt Party has 3 GREAT candidates in Reggie Thomas, Amy McGrath, and Jim Gray. It is a shame that only one can win.

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