Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election bid remains one of the closest in the country, as he leads his presumed Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, by just a single percentage point, according to a new poll.
The Republican Kentuckian has just a 31 percent job approval rating, marking him one of the most unpopular senators in the country, according to Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling, in a survey first reported by Politico and released Tuesday.
McConnell leads Grimes 43 percent to 42 percent, with 15 percent of Kentucky voters undecided. A similar poll in October had Grimes ahead by 2 percentage points. Grimes' favorability matches McConnell's at 31 percent, but about one-third of voters are unsure of whether they approve of her, giving her potential room to grow. But most people have already formed their opinion of McConnell, with 61 percent disapproving and just 8 percent unsure.
McConnell's underfunded Republican primary opponent, Matt Bevin, would do similarly well against Grimes, according to the poll. That suggests McConnell is receiving base-level support – that is to say, people who would never vote for Grimes – but little more. Despite the fact that 64 percent of those surveyed had not formed an opinion of Bevin, he matches McConnell's general election support.
The poll did not ask Republicans who they preferred in the primary contest between the two men, but previous surveys have shown McConnell winning handily.
The poll surveyed 1,509 Kentucky voters between Dec. 12-15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent.