“Mitch McConnell has never faced an opponent like Amy McGrath,” her campaign manager Mark Nickolas said. “Change is coming.”
McConnell won his first race for the Senate in 1984 and is seeking his seventh term with President Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in 2020. Trump dominated Kentucky in 2016, winning with nearly 63% of the vote.
McConnell campaign manager Kevin Golden said in a statement that McGrath’s fundraising number, which would put her just outside the top tier of Democratic presidential contenders, is buoyed by donors from outside the state.
“Far-left liberal activists from New York and California absolutely hate the fact that Kentucky’s values, culture and priorities are put at the front of the line as long as Mitch McConnell leads the Senate,” Golden said. “They can flood her campaign with millions but they can’t vote in Kentucky.”
Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told CNN that McConnell is a “flashpoint” for political fundraising, much the way Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was when he narrowly beat then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke in 2018.
“There could be a lot of similarities between the O’Rourke-Cruz race and this race,” said Duffy, noting they both feature red states with “unpopular Republicans that fire up small Democratic donors across the country.”
“But as O’Rourke found out, that doesn’t make it an easy race to win,” she added.