Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) leaves after talking with reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 28, 2014 in Washington, DC.
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Even the GOP pollsters see trouble for Mitch McConnell in November


It’s been a rough week for Sen. Mitch McConnell—Texas Sen. Ted Cruz forced Republican leadership to side with Democrats on the debt ceiling, leaving McConnell to face the ire of the far-right—and back home in Kentucky, re-election polls aren’t offering much of a respite.

The latest poll—conducted by Republican pollster Wenzel Strategies—sees the Senate minority leader in trouble with his Democratic opponent, state Secretary of State Allison Lundergan-Grimes. McConnell leads by just one point earning 43% of support compared to Grimes’ 42%—a lead that falls within the poll’s three-point margin of error.

McConnell, who was elected to the Senate 30 years ago this November, is facing his toughest re-election battle yet, thanks to challengers from the left and right.

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Republicans are hoping to retake the Senate in 2014. The Washington Post recently calculated that they had a 54% chance of doing so, though they don’t consider the possibility that McConnell will lose this November.

The poll also found voters’ minds made up about the longtime incumbent—just 3% had no opinion on McConnell—and saw more room for growth with the relative political newcomer Lundergan-Grimes, with 20% of voters not sure what they thought of Grimes. 

This poll, with its partisan tilt toward the incumbent, isn’t as bad as it gets, either. A nonpartisan survey released earlier this week saw McConnell in even bigger trouble, with Grimes trumping McConnell by four points.

Mitch McConnell

Even the GOP pollsters see trouble for Mitch McConnell in November