Grimes faces challenge in convincing conservative western Ky. Democrats to 'switch' back

09/23/2013 06:03 PM

OWENSBORO — The last time Kentuckians elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate was 1992. Kentucky actually has gone for a Democratic president more recently than that (‘96 for Bill Clinton).

One of the key reasons is that registered Democrats in western Kentucky have become increasingly comfortable voting for Republicans for federal offices, starting with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and extending to Jim Bunning, Rand Paul, former congressman Ron Lewis and the current congressmen from the region, Brett Guthrie and Ed Whitfield.

Current and former Democratic officials at the Davies County Democratic Rally on Saturday in Owensboro said they’re confident Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, the first-term secretary of state, can break the streak.

Still, Owensboro Democrat Andy Gamblin was wearing a Grimes sticker but still said he’d vote for McConnell if the election were today. Watch the full report to find out why:

That last Democrat to win a U.S. Senate race was Wendell Ford, who won his fourth full term in 1992 and retired at the end of 1998.

Grimes said she’s been calling Ford, 89, each week for campaign advice, and he shared with Pure Politics what he’s been telling her.


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