The latest Kentucky poll from CNN/ORC found Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) with a modest four-point lead over his Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes. If the election were held today McConnell would get 50 percent of likely voters and Grimes would come in at 46 percent.
One of Grimes’ biggest problems remains how deeply unpopular the President is in the state. Among likely voters only 33 percent approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job, while 63 percent disapprove and another 3 percent have no opinion.
This means that for Grimes to win she will need roughly a third of the entire vote to come from people who are unhappy with Obama. That is hundreds of thousands of people who think Obama is doing bad job that Grimes needs to win over. That is a big uphill climb for a non-incumbent.
It is an interesting sign of just how unpopular Obama is in red states that Democrats have actually started to embrace independent candidates in a few key races instead.
It seem that candidates/local parties in several states realize they would be better off if they could officially dissociate with the national brand. If we had better election rules which allowed for multiple parties that would be possible, but most are stuck with this Obama problem instead.