Dem Campaign: McConnell Can Be Beat

Image: KY Senate McConnell
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., waits to speak during a campaign stop at Badgett Supply in Madisonville, Ky., Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014. McConnell is being challenged by Louisville businessman Matt Bevin in the republican primary. (AP Photo/Stephen Lance Dennee)Stephen Lance Dennee / AP

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Alison Lundergan Grimes’s campaign is pushing back on the idea that Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell can’t be beat.

A new memo from senior campaign advisor Jonathan Hurst, set to be released Friday, lays out a counterpoint to the argument that a loss by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would be unprecedented, in part because of Kentucky's favorable environment for Republicans.

The document comes a day after Nate Cohn of the New York Times wrote that “Mitch McConnell is not as vulnerable as he seems,” writing that McConnell will benefit from the state’s favorable environment for Republicans and dismal ratings for the president.

Hurst counters that McConnell has been successfully branded as a Washington insider and faces significant distrust from within his own party. He also argues that Grimes has been able to push back charges that she doesn’t have the policy chops or fundraising prowess to challenge McConnell, whose style Hurst describes as “braggartly” but whose campaign is “floundering.”

Here’s another thing that caught our eye in the memo: “Despite facing millions of dollars in TV and radio attack ads, our campaign is tied or ahead in 12 recent polls without spending a single dollar on paid media. Our multimillion-dollar war chest will allow us to go toe-to-toe with the McConnell campaign and tout Alison’s message in every corner of the Commonwealth.”

Grimes's team points out that she’s been running toe-to-toe in public polling with McConnell despite not being up on the air – even while the McConnell-aligned SuperPAC, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, has been running attack ads against her since last summer. (McConnell has also been slugged by ads by outside Democratic groups, too.)

McConnell spokesman Jesse Benton said in that statement that the campaign has not "spent single dime on negatives ads against Grimes"

"Alison Lundergan Grimes is a new face for the same tired old ideas of Barrack Obama and the national liberals. Her anti-coal, big-spending, pro-union boss platform is severely out of touch with Kentucky while Mitch McConnell is championing the fresh, new ideas of liberty and free enterprise to move our Commonwealth forward," he said."

McConnell has to overcome a primary challenge in May before heading full-bore into the general election against Grimes.