McConnell GOP Challenger Sees Fading Polling, Staff Shakeup

U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin (R-Ky), speaks to a gathering at FreePAC Kentucky, Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) primary challenger, Matt Bevin has been falling behind in polling and fundraising throughout the race, but he announced in the past few days that he was dumping his communications director and hiring a prominent tea partier.

Bevin’s campaign confirmed to TPM on Monday that communications director Rachel Semmel left the campaign.

Bevin’s campaign did not immediately explain why Semmel left the campaign but according to WFPL’s Phillip Bailey, Semmel had decided to move back to Washington, D.C.

A few days earlier news broke that Amy Kremer had resigned as the chairwoman of the Tea Party Express to join the Bevin campaign. According to CNN, Kremer would do consulting work for Bevin.

WFPL also noted that two field operatives also left Bevin’s campaign recently.

A week ago McConnell announced that he had raised $2.4 million in the first quarter of 2014 and had $10.4 million cash on hand. Bevin, meanwhile, raised $1.12 million over the same period. A pair of February polls, one of which was conducted by a pro-McConnell super PAC, found McConnell leading his primary challenger by 38 to 41 percentage points.

The Kentucky Republican primary is on May 20.

This post was updated.

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