Election Breakdown


Chase Cannon

On Tuesday May 20th, the Commonwealth of Kentucky held its primary elections for the United States Senate seat currently held by Mitch McConnell. Senator McConnell has held his seat for the past twenty-nine years. Since 1985, there has been little competition for the Senate Majority Leader.

As he has become known for, Senator McConnell defeated his would-be usurper by a landslide. Challenger Matt Bevin received only 35% of the vote, while Senator McConnell obtained a whopping 60%. It is no wonder that McConnell defeated Bevin so easily; he outspent Bevin by more than 3 to 1. McConnell has raised over $21 million and spent $11 million in order to crush Bevin. Bevin meanwhile spent a respectable $3.3 million, but it still was not enough to break McConnell’s sound political machine.

On the Democratic side of the ring, newcomer Alison Lundergan Grimes is coming out to meet McConnell head on for his seat that is up for grabs on November 4th. After receiving an overwhelming 78% of the vote in the Democratic primary, Grimes is riding a confident wave into the general election as well.

The race now is between Grimes and McConnell, which is beginning to become one of the most important senate races in the country. PBS NewsHour has named the race number 6 in the top 10 races in which a seat could change parties.

With their eyes now set on the general election, Grimes and McConnell have wasted no time in beginning the battle against each other. It doesn’t seem like either candidate agrees on anything other than coal, which they both want to continue being an important part of the state of Kentucky.

McConnell has challenged Grimes to a series of debates set to take place around Labor Day. He has proposed three “Lincoln-Douglas style” debates, meaning that it would include the two candidates asking each other questions, instead of a moderator or audience asking the questions.

WDRB has already offered to host the first debate on June 21, but nothing is for certain, as Grimes has some requirements for the debate, and it doesn’t seem McConnell want to work with her campaign.

Among possible debate topics are the Affordable Care Act, which Grimes wants to continue working on and repairing and McConnell wants to completely remove, as well as the problems with the Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who is being criticized for the agencies pour treatment of workers and veterans. While they aren’t official, these debates have the potential to become big turning points for either candidate very early in the elections, and could carry all the way to November.