The Newsroom

In Homestretch, Alison Leaves It All on the Field

The enthusiasm gap in the Kentucky US Senate race is real and palpable, and Alison is leaving it all on the field.

Kentucky Democrat Tears Up on Campaign Trail
Time // Jay Newton-Small

“You are people who can’t be bought,” Alison Lundergan Grimes said.

The Kentucky Democrat who is giving Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell the toughest reelection race of his career teared during a speech Sunday just two days before the election.

“You, you are people who can’t be bought,” Alison Lundergan Grimes, 35, told the largely union crowd here, her voice breaking slightly and her eyes welling with tears.

Grimes, who is Kentucky’s secretary of state, was talking about McConnell loaning his campaign $1.8 million on Oct. 24, on top of the whopping $53 million he’s already raised to beat Grimes. In the emotional speech, Grimes blasted McConnell for being in the pocket of “millionaires and billionaires,” and said she would “work for the people of Kentucky” if elected.

Grimes had campaigned Saturday with Hillary Clinton, who she said is one of her lifelong political idols. Clinton famously won the New Hampshire presidential primary in 2008 after welling up emotionally at a campaign event.

On Sunday, Grimes also grew visibly angry waving a mailer sent out by the Kentucky Republican Party that she said amounted to voter suppression. Grimes’ campaign is suing the party over the mailer, which warns Democrats that if they vote on Tuesday they could be committing an “election violation.”

Grimes was down in an NBC/Marist poll out Sunday, 41% to McConnell’s 50%, though her campaign says its internal polls show a race still evenly split. “We remain confident in the accuracy of our own polling, which for months has shown this race a dead heat,” says Charly Norton, Grimes’ spokeswoman. Mitch McConnell’s panicked $2-million check to himself and his sleazy, illegal voter suppression tactics suggest he sees the same.”

McConnell is posed to be Senate Majority Leader if Republicans recapture the upper chamber.

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