Nate Silver Gives Alison Lundergan Grimes One-in-Five Chance in Senate Race

Election guru Nate Silver is giving Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes a 20 percent chance of beating Senator Mitch McConnell in next year’s election.

The Democrats hold a 54-46 majority in the Senate and are expected to regain the New Jersey seat later this year.

But the early speculation is Republicans will pick up at least three seats in 2014.  It’s possible the GOP have enough to gain the majority, but Silver puts control of the Senate as a “toss-up” overall.

In regards to the Bluegrass, he says McConnell’s seat could be vulnerable given his noted unpopularity, but the “fundamentals” favor the GOP leader over Grimes.

From FiveThirtyEight:

Kentucky. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, has only break-even approval ratings, and Democrats got one of their better potential recruits in Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state. Although some early polls show a relatively close race, the fundamentals favor Mr. McConnell as Kentucky has become very red-leaning and as he is likely to have a strong fund-raising edge. One factor helping Ms. Grimes is the lack of other credible pickup opportunities for Democrats, which could mean that more Democratic money will be directed toward her race. Still, she will have to run a pitch-perfect campaign to win in such a conservative state in a midterm year.

National Republicans continue to mock Grimes’s poor rollout and  lack of campaign appearances since announcing her intentions to seek the Democratic nomination.

News that Grimes impressed national donors at a Democratic retreat at Martha’s Vineyard has spurred a new round of online attack ads, which asks why the secretary isn’t in Kentucky. But McConnell’s critics point out he also holds fundraisers with big donors outside of the state.

From Mother Jones:

Next week, McConnell and his wife, former Labor secretary Elaine Chao, will fly to Palm Beach, Florida, for a fundraiser at the home of millionaire John Castle, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.

Then, after the Castles’ fundraiser, Wilbur Ross (net worth $2.6 billion) and his wife, Hilary, will wine and dine McConnell at their house, which is so extravagant that it has its own name, Windsong. (So does the guest house: Windsong Too.) Tickets range from $1,000 to $5,000 for the night’s events; to co-chair the event, you’ve got to pony up $15,000 to $30,000.

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