Kentucky Politics

Democratic candidate Amy McGrath is making her final push to try to overcome Republican Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race.

McGrath held a get out the vote rally outside a Teamsters hall in Louisville on Thursday, shortly before she hopped on a plane to campaign in Pikeville.

McGrath told a crowd of about 30 people that workers have been treated terribly by McConnell.

“He has undermined unions, undermined workers. Tried to drive down wages for decades. He represents the big corporations, special interests, the wealthiest one percent. He only cares about them and making more money for them,” McGrath said.

A poll released last week showed McGrath trailing McConnell by nine points statewide and leading the six-term incumbent only in the Louisville Metro area.

Both candidates have been crisscrossing the state in recent weeks, making their final pitches as voters cast their ballots during Kentucky’s early voting period, which was expanded during the coronavirus pandemic.

McGrath said she hopes the expansion of early and mail-in voting helps her overcome McConnell’s apparent lead.

“Kentucky’s never made it easier to vote than this year and I think that’s a game changer for this race because in previous years, you had a lot of people who are disenfranchised by just having a 12 hour window during a random Tuesday in November,” McGrath said.

During the rally, McGrath hammered McConnell for not passing another coronavirus relief bill before the election.

“Imagine what it would be like to have a senator that isn’t an obstructionist. That is somebody who’s going to work for us,” McGrath said.

McConnell did propose a $500 billion coronavirus relief bill earlier this month, but it didn’t get enough votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. Democrats and President Trump have called for a much larger package.

Early voting continues in Kentucky until Election Day, next Tuesday.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.