Nothing says “Washington D.C outsider fighting for change” like a powerful figurehead of the GOP establishment who has served 30+ years as Kentucky’s senior Senator and now finds his campaign in a classic scandal. The Huffington Post reports that Mitch’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton (who ran Rand Paul’s 2010 U.S Senate campaign) will resign his position amid a bribery scandal. The resignation is to take effect Saturday.
While this doesn’t seem like a huge blow on the outside, on the inside the McConnell campaign is greatly weakened now with the departure of Jesse Benton. Jesse Benton was hired by Mitch after he successfully ran Rand Paul’s campaign for U.S Senate in the state. Early polls in 2011 had Tea Party favorite Matt Bevins (R) beating the 30+ year Washington D.C incumbent. Mr. Benton though successfully repainted Mitch McConnell in the lead up to the GOP primary as a hardline conservative and Mitch easily defeated Bevins by a landslide back in May. The real problem lies ahead, Mitch is facing a very strong challenger in Grimes (D) and now without Benton we will see how effective the campaign can stay.
Currently polls have Mitch McConnell just barely ahead of Allison Grimes. It should be noted that the 2008 Democratic candidate came close to beating Mitch McConnell on election night despite polls showing Mitch safely ahead. Kentucky might be red but Mitch McConnell is in deep trouble and party loyalty isn’t alone going to save the ineffective senior Senator from Kentucky.