The Senate Democrats’ campaign arm is reversing its decision from last week to financially cut off Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Democratic challenger, Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes. After saying it could no longer afford to fund campaign ads for Grimes because it needed to divert those funds to defend Democratic seats, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is saving $650,000 for airtime on Grimes’ behalf, Politico reported Wednesday.
Internal and public polls swayed the DSCC’s decision, according to Politico. The most promising recent poll for Grimes was the Bluegrass Poll released Monday, which had McConnell ahead only 44 percent to 43 percent, well within the 3.9 percent margin of error. The poll of 655 likely Kentucky voters was conducted Oct. 15 through 19.
McConnell leads Grimes in the five latest surveys, but his margin is outside the margin of error in only three of them, meaning the other two indicate the race as a dead heat. The Senate minority leader’s camp knocked the Bluegrass Poll, claiming it was skewed toward women, who favor Democratic candidates more often than men.
The McConnell-Grimes race is ranked as a toss-up by Real Clear Politics, which reports the incumbent has an average 4.4-percent lead over Grimes in the five most recent polls. The race is one of nine Senate elections that Real Clear Politics rates as a toss-up. Democrats control the Senate, but the GOP can retake the chamber by gaining six seats in the 2014 midterm elections.
A political strategist from Kentucky told MSNBC that it was a mistake last week for Senate Democrats to pull Grimes’ funding. “There’s nothing on the ground that would validate this foolish decision,” the strategist said.