On Struggles At Home During The Pandemic
A mother of three young children â ages 8, 6, and 4 â McGrath told Moody that âlike all families right now, weâre struggling with school.â
Talking about the pandemic with her children, McGrath said, has also presented challenges. âMy four-year-old, almost every day, she says âIs the virus gone yet?’â
âIt didnât have to be this way,â she said, citing some steps sheâd take to prevent such a catastrophe from happening again. âLetâs invest in public health. Letâs change the way we look at this. Letâs not politicize mask wearing. These are the types of things we need to make sure we donât do this again.â
On Her Areas Of Agreement With President Trump
McGrath has faced criticism, especially from the left, for promoting her alignment with President Trump on certain issues. Early in her campaign, it led to some calling her a âTrump Democrat.â Asked if that is an accurate characterization of her as a candidate, McGrath said âI put my country ahead of my political party.â
She said she agrees with Trump on instituting Congressional term limits, passing infrastructure legislation, and lowering the price of prescription drugs. âItâs not about wearing a red jersey or a blue jersey,â she said. âLetâs get people in office who are going to do whatâs right for Kentucky and do what people need. Thatâs what Iâm all about.â
Better Off Running As ‘an Authentic Liberal’
It remains to be seen whether McGrath’s unusual strategy and messaging will stick and whether it would work for other Democrats running in red states. Her campaign is committed to it, at least for now.
“What Amy’s done is say, there’s a lot of things the president has put out that Democrats agree with,” said Mark Nickolas, McGrath’s campaign manager. He said Trump’s populist message in 2016 appealed to many Kentuckians, as Trump called for draining the swamp in Washington, for family leave and for infrastructure programs that would create jobs.
“All we’re saying is we’re using the president’s campaign promises against McConnell,” he added.
McConnell’s allies don’t seem too troubled by it, however. Josh Holmes, the majority leader’s former chief of staff, said McGrath’s rhetoric seemed “inauthentic.”
“The idea that someone whose entire candidacy last year was based upon opposition to Trump has performed a full lobotomy on herself and is reborn as a moderate Democrat is just insulting to voters,” he said. “She’s better off being an authentic liberal who raises money and loses by 15 than a performance artist who gets rung up by 20+ as Kentuckians see right through it.”
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Kentuckys Partisan Lean Makes Statewide Races Hard To Win For Democrats
In 2019, Andy Beshear pulled off a major win for Democrats by beating incumbent Matt Bevin for the governors seat. Beshears win, however, involved unique circumstances and likely is not a sign of lasting movement toward Democrats in the state, experts caution.
Bevin, for one, was disliked both by Democrats and some Republicans. A bombastic politician who pushed cuts to teachers pensions and Medicaid, Bevin took actions that provoked widespread protest, including several teachers strikes. Beshear, meanwhile, framed himself as an ally to educators and a moderate alternative to the incumbent. He also benefited from strong name recognition in the state since his father had previously served as governor.
The election of Beshear was somewhat anomalous because he had a Republican incumbent who had annoyed a lot of people, including Republicans, said Murray State University political science professor Jim Clinger.
While McConnell has pretty high disapproval ratings as well, he isnt disliked in quite the same way particularly by Republicans, a segment of whom McGrath would need to win over to flip the Senate seat. And even Republicans who may not be huge fans of McConnell recognize the importance of holding on to the seat to maintain GOP representation in the Senate, not to mention the benefits McConnell brings to the states profile.
Local Vs Logical Politics
While McGrath’s strategy makes sense logically, she is still unlikely to win against the formidable incumbent McConnell, said Scott Lasley, a professor of political science at Western Kentucky University.
At a certain point, Lasley said, McGrath will have to part ways with voters on major local issues such as coal mining, which is a split-party issue that is important to the Kentucky constituency.
“The ‘drain the swamp’ argument is a general argument against D.C., but it only gets you so far,” Lasley said. “The argument makes sense: Run against D.C. and run against partisanship. But when push comes to shove, that’s not enough to move voters.”
McGrath is smart for “tapping into concerns about whether McConnell is an effective leader,” said Tharon Johnson, political strategist at Paramount Consulting. But he added she should focus more on “localizing the race and making the kitchen-table issues her priority.”
McGrath narrowly lost a House race against Republican Rep. Andy Barr in 2018.
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On Her Catholic Faith
An Irish Catholic, McGrath grew up attending Catholic schools in Northern Kentucky and told Moody that her faith pushes her to work for âsocial justice.â
âItâs about making sure that we donât forget about the people who are left behind,â she said. âThings like the dignity of work â making sure that if you work, you should be able to have a wage that you could put food on the table and live a good life. Making sure that healthcare is a priority. Making sure that we take care of the environment. Workers rights. Making sure that we try to tackle poverty and take care of the least among us. Thatâs what my faith has taught us.â
Amy Mcgrath Wins Kentucky Democratic Primary
LOUISVILLE, Ky. Former Marine pilot Amy McGrath overcame a bumpier-than-expected Kentucky primary to win the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination Tuesday, fending off progressive Charles Booker to set up a bruising, big-spending showdown with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Voting ended June 23, but it took a week until McGrath could be declared the winner due to the races tight margins and a deluge of mail-in ballots. The outcome seemed a certainty early in the campaign but became tenuous as Bookers profile surged as the Black state lawmaker highlighted protests against the deaths of African Americans in encounters with police.
It was a narrow victory for McGrath. With 89% of precincts reporting Tuesday afternoon, she had a nearly 9,500-vote advantage over Booker.
Kentucky switched to widespread absentee voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, and election officials needed days to count ballots. McConnell, a key ally to President Donald Trump, already breezed to victory in the GOP primary in his bid for a seventh term.
Since last summer, McConnell and McGrath looked past their primaries to skirmish with each other, and now those attacks are expected to intensify as they head into the fall campaign.
Despite her advantages, McGrath sweated out her primary victory against the hard-charging Booker.
Trump could turn into a focal point in the Senate race.
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Strategy And The Broader Senate Map
Republicans hold a 53-47 edge in the Senate and have to defend 22 seats next year. Trump won 20 of those states.
Democrats appear to have better chances at defeating Republican incumbents in states such as Colorado, Maine and Arizona, where voters on net disapprove of the president by margins of 13, 15 and 7 percentage points, respectively, according to Morning Consult. The party will also attempt to defend a seat held by Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in the deep-red state of Alabama while seeking to flip seats in the traditionally GOP-leaning states Texas and Georgia.
So far, other Democratic Senate challengers are opting to hit Trump on bread-and-butter issues.
Mike Johnston, running in Colorado’s Democratic primary to challenge GOP incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020, has vocally criticized Trump for his policies on immigration enforcement and Gardner for his support of coal lobbyists. Johnston also said Gardner has failed to be “a different kind of Republican” who would deliver during his time in office.
In Tennessee, Democrat James Mackler, a former attorney and an Iraq War veteran, became the first to announce his candidacy for the seat that will be vacated by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander. From the onset of his campaign, he has vocally critiqued Trump and attempted to present the president as a direct adversary to the interests of Tennesseans.
Amy Mcgrath Is Airing A Pro
Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath this week released a new television ad that features a supporter praising President Donald Trump and attacking her opponent, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The ad is standard fare for McGrath, who needs to court Trump supporters to defeat McConnell in a state the president is likely to win by double-digits.
But it isnt running only in deep-red Kentucky. The ad is also appearing in the Cincinnati, Ohio, media market meaning a Democratic candidate is paying for a television spot praising Trump in a state where former Vice President Joe Bidens campaign is spending millions of dollars to win in November.
I worry about losing my job every day, a man identified as John W. from Paducah, Ky., says in the ad, which the McGrath campaign spent $200,000 to air in the Cincinnati market this week. Im voting for President Trump again, but I cannot vote for Mitch McConnell.
Mitch McConnell voted for 16 trade deals and sent those jobs overseas, and thats crap in my book, he adds. Thats basically stabbing the knife in my back, as well as all the other Kentuckians. Thirty-six years is long enough. If President Trump wants to drain the swamp, lets start with Mitch McConnell.
Im voting for Amy, John W. concludes.
The ad stopped airing in the northern Kentucky area on Thursday, the McGrath campaign said.
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Kentucky: Gop Senate Leader Mcconnell Handily Wins 7th Term
LOUISVILLE, Ky. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the chief congressional ally of President Donald Trump, defeated his Democratic challenger to capture a seventh term Tuesday and build on his legacy as Kentuckys longest-serving U.S. senator.
The 78-year-old McConnell won handily against Democrat Amy McGrath, a retired Marine combat pilot. McConnell played up his decades in the Senate as an asset for Kentucky while McGrath portrayed the veteran politician as personifying everything thats wrong with Washington.
McConnell declared victory with his wife, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, at his side.
The people of Kentucky had a clear choice and they sent a clear message, McConnell said. Tonight, Kentuckians said that challenging times need proven leadership.
Kentucky kept its front-row seat in the Senate with his victory, McConnell said. But what remained in doubt was whether hell spend the next two years as Senate majority or minority leader. Democrats made a strong push to reclaim the Senate in Tuesdays election.
As Trumps top ally on Capitol Hill, McConnell led efforts to defend Trump during his impeachment acquittal in the Senate and worked with the president on a tax overhaul.
Return To The United States
In 2011, McGrath returned to the United States and was assigned as a congressional fellow for Representative Susan Davis‘s office in Washington, D.C., as a defense and foreign affairs advisor for a year. Davis was chair and ranking member on the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the House Armed Services Committee.
From 2012 to 2014, McGrath worked at the Headquarters Marine Corps in The Pentagon, as a Marine Corps liaison to the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development.
From 2014 to 2017, McGrath taught as a senior political science instructor at the United States Naval Academy.
After reaching her 20-year service mark, McGrath retired from the armed forces on June 1, 2017, at the rank of lieutenant colonel.
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After Hopscotching Around The Issue Mcgaffe Now Stands In Lockstep With Speaker Pelosi On Impeachment
In classic Amy McGaffe fashion, her views on the issue of impeachment differ depending on whether her audience is comprised of Californians or Kentuckians on whether she is hoping to raise money or earn votes.
In case you missed a maneuver that is perfectly emblematic of the failed liberal politicians pattern of pandering to far-left donors on the coasts, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath has come out in support of the House of Representatives impeaching President Donald Trump in a fundraising email sent Thursday. McGaffe let the secret slip after she was widely panned by observers this week for issuing a seven-paragraph statement on impeachmentthat fails to say whether she supports impeachment.
As a reminder, McGaffe launched her Senate campaign lying to the people of Kentucky about wanting to work with President Trump whose victory she shamefully compared to 9/11. Shortly thereafter, McGaffes rocky rollout turned into a campaign nightmare when she gave diametrically different answers to the question of whether she would have voted to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Just hours prior to this latest flip-flop, meanwhile, President Trump made a prescient prediction about how McGaffe wont be very good against Mitch McConnell:
Will you join the fight?
Mcgrath: You Cant Drain The Swamp Until You Get Rid Of Mitch Mcconnell
To win in Kentucky, Amy McGrath will need to attract support from Trump voters. How? By arguing that McConnell is blocking big pieces of his agenda.
Amy McGrath. | Zack Stanton/POLITICO
Amy McGrath knows the image Mitch McConnell has: the steely, cold-but-effective master of the Senate. The tactician who will win at all costs, and who has quietly gone about enacting major pieces of President Donald Trumps agenda and filling the federal bench with Trump appointees.
The problem, McGrath says, is that this is exactly backwards: The majority leader is the one preventing many of Trumps central 2016 campaign promises from becoming reality.
For voters, when they cast a vote for Donald Trump, he said a lot of big things, McGrath said in an interview for POLITICOsWomen Rule podcast. He said, Were going to do big things on infrastructure. He said, Im going to take it to the pharmaceutical industries and Im going to bring down drug prices. He said he was going to fix healthcare. He said all of these things, and for a lot of those things, they havent gotten done actually because of Mitch McConnell.
And so while national Democrats gnash their teeth about McConnells cold efficacy in supporting the Trump agenda, in Kentucky, McGraths challenge is, in part, convincing Trump voters that McConnell has been an obstacle to the things that attracted voters to Trump in the first place.
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More: Barrett Confirmation Rises As Issue In Kentucky Senate Race
Central to Democrats’ arguments against Barrett was the threat they felt she posed to health care. Barrett testified repeatedly that she is “not hostile” to the Affordable Care Act during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, though Barrett criticized a ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts that upheld the landmark Obama-era health care bill in a 2017 academic article.
McConnell, meanwhile, has touted the Barrett nomination as one of his most significant accomplishments in his time serving in the Senate. He’s called Barrett a “sterling” nominee and celebrated the Senate’s accomplishments at a press stop earlier this week. The confirmation gives conservatives a 6-3 advantage on the nation’s highest court.
“It was a proud moment when we confirmed her Monday night,” McConnell said this week. “We worked through the weekend … and we made an important difference for the country.”
Despite her opposition to Barrett’s installation on the court, McGrath told Davis that she’s not interested in the proposal from some progressives to add additional justices to the court if Democrats win the White House and Senate next week.
“I’m not interested in packing the courts right now,” McGrath told ABC News Live. “I’m interested in unpacking the Senate.”
Amy Mcgrath Hoping To Unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell Confident Kentucky Wants To See Change
The Democrat is trailing in the polls against the Senate majority leader.
Amy McGrath, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, said Thursday that she is confident voters want to bring about change as they head to the polls this week, despite facing long odds against Sen. Mitch McConnell.
McConnell, the Senate majority leader and a 36-year veteran of the Senate, wields significant power over the Congress and frequently touts that he is the only senior leader in Congress not from New York or California.
McGrath told ABC News’ Lindsey Davis Thursday that she believes voters can tell that McConnell is too entrenched in Washington politics to get things done for Kentucky.
“You can’t drain the swamp until you get rid of the guy who built it, and that’s Mitch McConnell,” McGrath said. “My fellow Kentuckians don’t come up to me and say, ‘Wow, Sen. McConnell’s power is really working for us.'”
A Quinnipiac poll from mid-September showed McConnell leading McGrath by 12 points. President Donald Trump, a close ally of the senator, is also expected to win Kentucky he did so handily in In 2016.
McGrath is a former Marine fighter pilot who has made public service a centerpiece of her campaign.
On Thursday, she focused on the need to secure health care for vulnerable citizens. She also took aim at McConnell’s push to quickly install Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court without successfully passing another round of coronavirus relief.
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