Black voters could have a major impact in the hard-fought U.S. Senate race in Kentucky, and both candidates are making direct appeals to them in dueling radio ads.
A new radio ad by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) features an African-American woman calling on Kentuckians to support the Republican incumbent because he “fights for our community and cares about us.”
“Alison Grimes won’t say she voted for President Obama, but I will,” says the narrator, Dr. Noelle Hunter from Morehead. “I voted for President Obama twice. So you might be surprised to hear that I’m also voting for Mitch McConnell. And I think you should too. … As an African-American, I know from person experience that Mitch fights for our community and cares about us.”
The ad takes a sharp turn when Hunter says her ex-husband kidnapped their daughter in 2011 and took to her to Africa, and that McConnell “knocked down barriers” and helped make sure “my baby came home safely.”
McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said the ad will run on urban radio in response to an ad by Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in which a narrator says McConnell “has been leading the Republican effort to take away our voting rights.”
On Tuesday, the Grimes campaign unveiled a new radio ad of their own, featuring Georgia Powers — a civil rights leader and the first woman and African-American elected to the Kentucky state senate — asking Kentuckians to support Grimes.
“Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are trying to take away our right to vote. That’s why our community and faith leaders are rallying behind Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes,” Powers says.
A Bluegrass Poll released Monday found that Grimes has an advantage with black voters: 60 percent of black likely voters intend to vote for her, while 22 percent intend to vote for McConnell.
“The McConnell campaign has zero ground organization in African American communities,” a Grimes campaign official said. “We are dominating.”