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Poll shows Mitch McConnell with large lead over Democratic Senate rival Amy McGrath

A new survey by independent polling firm Morning Consult shows Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with a commanding lead in his bid for a seventh term in Kentucky, leading 53% to 36% over his Democratic challenger Amy McGrath.

About 700 likely voters in Kentucky were surveyed online from July 24 to Aug. 2 by Morning Consult, whose results have a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.

The race between McConnell and McGrath is expected to be one of the most expensive U.S. Senate races in the country this year, as both campaigns had over $16 million in cash on hand at the end of June.

McGrath spent over $9 million in June alone to pull out a narrow victory over underdog Charles Booker in the Democratic primary, whose campaign surged in the final month by portraying him as a more authentic and progressive Democrat.

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The poll showed McGrath still has work to do in consolidating support among Booker voters and other Kentucky Democrats, with 79% supporting her, 12% supporting McConnell and 6% indicating they will vote for someone else.

McConnell had the support of 84% of Republicans surveyed, while independents favored the senator 45% to 33% over McGrath.

Over 6% of the likely voters surveyed indicated they would vote form someone besides McConnell and McGrath, with nearly 6% are still undecided.

While a survey two weeks ago from the internal pollster of McGrath’s campaign showed McConnell leading by only 4 percentage points, two other polls since June found McConnell up by at least 20 percentage points.

A survey conducted in mid-June by Oakland, California-based pollster Civiqs and commissioned by progressive think tank Data for Progress found McConnell leading McGrath 53% to 33%.

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Republican polling firm SPRY Strategies found McConnell leading McGrath by an even larger margin in mid-July, outpacing the Democrat 55% to 33%.

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McConnell defeated Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes by a 56% to 41% margin in his last race for reelection in 2014, after most polls had shown a close race throughout the campaign.

While the results of the Morning Consult survey are good news for McConnell, polls from other U.S. Senate races around the country show he is in serious danger of losing his majority in that chamber, as Democrats have a chance to flip Republican seats in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Iowa and North Carolina.

Republicans currently hold 53 seats in the U.S. Senate.

Kentucky has heavily trended toward Republicans in federal elections in recent decades, with the GOP candidate winning every race for U.S. Senate since 1998 and every Republican presidential candidate winning by a blowout since 2000.

Also: Barack Obama’s first wave of endorsements doesn’t include Amy McGrath

Reach reporter Joe Sonka at jsonka@courierjournal.com or 502-582-4472 and follow him on Twitter at @joesonka. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courierjournal.com/subscribe.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Election 2020: Mitch McConnell has big lead vs. McGrath in Senate race

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