McConnell: ‘I Want to Beat Him Like a Drum’

Posted November 1, 2008 at 10:38am

A fiery Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told a crowd on Friday exactly how he feels about his Democratic opponent, Bruce Lunsford: “I want to beat him like a drum,” McConnell thundered. “I am [in Washington] to represent your views,” the Cincinnati Enquirer quoted McConnell as saying at a campaign stop in Florence. “Don’t do it for me. Do it for yourselves.” The typically reserved Senate veteran is nearing completion of a 4,000-mile, two-week bus tour of Kentucky as he seeks to fend off a stiff challenge from Lunsford. The Lunsford campaign released a new poll Thursday that showed the wealthy businessman in a statistical dead heat with McConnell. The survey showed the Minority Leader leading 47 percent to 45 percent with a 4.5-point margin of error. The poll of 502 likely voters was conducted for Lunsford’s campaign by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group on Sunday and Monday. According to the polling memo released Thursday, one variable that might work in Lunsford’s favor is that “our survey most likely undersampled African-American voters at six percent; the 2004 exit poll for Kentucky showed an eight percent African-American proportion, and it is not unreasonable to assume that African-American turnout on November fourth could be higher than eight percent” because of Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) candidacy. Republicans were quick to dispute the Lunsford’s campaign’s latest polling numbers, pointing to recent polls from two Kentucky newspapers as evidence that McConnell is widening his lead as the election draws near. The Louisville Courier-Journal released a poll of 817 likely voters on Thursday that showed McConnell ahead 47 percent to 42 percent. That poll was in the field Oct. 27-29 and had a 4.3-point margin of error. Last week the Lexington Herald-Leader released a survey showing McConnell up 47 percent to 43 percent. “Every public and private poll released in the past week has shown a significant trend towards Sen. McConnell’s re-election,” McConnell campaign manager Justin Brasell said. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) “is frantically trying to convince the Beltway that something is happening in Kentucky but Kentuckians have a very different view,” Brasell said. On Saturday, actress and Kentucky native Ashley Judd is scheduled to appear with Lunsford at a mid-afternoon rally in Louisville. On Sunday, Lunsford will campaign in Louisville, Lexington and eastern Kentucky with New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D). McConnell is touring the state with his wife, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, and a coterie of GOP officeholders in Kentucky.