McConnell, Grimes prepare for November as even as primary looms - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

McConnell, Grimes prepare for November as even as primary looms

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Alison Lundergan Grimes Alison Lundergan Grimes
Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnell
Matt Bevin Matt Bevin

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes set the tone Monday for a tough general election campaign, largely ignoring Tuesday's primary races.

McConnell didn't mention Republican challenger Matt Bevin during a Monday campaign stop in Louisville. Polls show that McConnell leads the Louisville businessman by a wide margin. Meanwhile, Grimes attacked McConnell and didn't refer to Bevin at her campaign events.

Bevin, spurred on by Tea Party support, said he remained confident he could win the Republican primary and gave only lukewarm support to McConnell in a potential matchup with Grimes in November.

"I've never supported a Democrat over a Republican in any race," Bevin said when asked, should he lose, whether he would endorse McConnell. "I don't intend to start with this race or any other race in the foreseeable future."

The McConnell campaign, in a memo released Monday, indicated that it was moving on from the tough, multi-million primary fight.

McConnell spent nearly $10 million against Bevin's challenge, keeping about that much cash on hand for the general election.

Bevin's spending in the race was more than Indiana's Richard Mourdock expensed on his way to defeating incumbent U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar in 2012, the McConnell campaign said in the memo.

"What I intend to do tomorrow is win the primary and go into the general election, and win it again," McConnell said at a campaign event, as he highlighted his leadership role in Congress. "It would be a devastating loss for the Commonwealth to trade in the best seat in the (Senate) for one in the back."

Bevin supporters remained hopeful that a large number of undecided voters could make the Republican primary race closer than many expect.

Bevin said McConnell's chances of defeating Grimes were "slim to none" because of low approval ratings. Polls show the Senate minority leader in a statistical dead heat with Grimes.

Grimes finished a 10-day, 50-county bus tour Monday just as she started it -- by attacking McConnell on the issue of jobs.

Asked whether she could've done more to improve her own standing while McConnell took on Bevin, Grimes said she liked where she stood.

"The energy is contagious," Grimes said. "We are excited about what we see in terms of the 17 polls that have been conducted, where we're running even or ahead of the minority leader."

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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