Democrats lose their edge in Kentucky

Democratic strength in Kentucky is ebbing fast, according to a new Gallup poll, and that could mean more trouble for Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

“A series of disheartening figures could make Democratic Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes' attempt to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all the more difficult,” Gallup analyst Justin McCarthy wrote Friday. “Kentuckians are now more likely to identify as or lean toward Republicans (45 percent) than Democrats (39 percent).”

Democrats held the advantage in the prior six years.

Thus, said McCarthy, “As a candidate taking on a powerful, long-serving incumbent senator, Grimes undoubtedly has a lot going against her.

“Though she has taken many opportunities to remind voters that Obama isn't on the ballot with her, Grimes' recent refusal to say whether she voted for the president has put a spotlight on an area she probably would like to avoid, given the president's very low approval rating in her state -- one of the lowest in the nation,” he found.

Twenty-nine percent of Kentucky adults approved of the job Obama’s doing. The figure, from the first six months of this year, compares to a 43 percent national average.

It’s ironic, Gallup said, because Kentucky is among the states showing the most positive impact from Obama's healthcare law.

“If residents do connect this directly with the president, it is not apparent in his approval rating,” McCarthy said.