McConnell, Paul rouse supporters in Louisville without mentioning Grimes by name

11/03/2014 11:13 AM

Kentucky U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul didn’t utter Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes’ name once during a McConnell rally at Bowman Field Monday.

Instead, he returned to a frequent punching bag in President Barack Obama’s national agenda to elicit cheers from a crowd of about 200 McConnell supporters on the day before Election Day.

“Victory is the air, and we’re going to bring it home tomorrow night,” McConnell said. “After six years of borrowing and spending and taxing and regulation, these people need to be stopped, and it starts tomorrow night.”

McConnell has held a slim lead in public polling in the campaign’s closing weeks, but two new polls over the weekend show him distancing himself from Grimes as undecided voters make up their minds. A survey by Public Policy Polling released Saturday shows the Senate Republican leader with an 8 percent lead on Grimes. On Sunday, an NBC News/Marist poll had McConnell up by 9 points.

Regardless of recent polls, McConnell urged the crowd to “inconvenience” itself and help turn out voters on Tuesday and “begin to save this country.”

“Every generation feels an obligation to leave behind a better America than their parents left behind for them,” he said. “The polls indicate that Americans are not so sure about that anymore, but I’m optimistic that we’ll keep the commitment. We have to go in a different direction to keep that commitment — an entirely different direction — but I knew we can do it.”

Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate who could benefit from McConnell’s ascension to Senate majority leader if the GOP gains six seats to grab control of the chamber, said the difference between McConnell and his opponent is clear.

“We have one candidate who doesn’t seem to remember or isn’t sure or won’t tell you who she voted for for president, and we know that it is an incredibly important thing to know who you voted for for president,” Paul said. “We know that this president has not been a friend to Kentucky, not been a friend to Kentucky coal, not been a friend to Kentucky jobs, and we know that this election, we’ll send a clear-cut message that the Republican way is the way we will create jobs in this country.

McConnell and Paul were set to make a number of stops Monday, including in northern Kentucky, Lexington, Hazard, Paducah, Owensboro and Bowling Green.

Grimes, meanwhile was on a similar barnstorming tour throughout the state, with stops planned in Pikeville, Somerset, Paducah, Owensboro, northern Kentucky, Maysville, Louisville and Lexington.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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