I'd add a few items to Carroll's list, including the leaked audio of McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton saying he was "holding my nose" while working for McConnell and the ridiculous-looking image of McConnell holding a rifle on stage at CPAC 2014, but ultimately the most salient point Carroll's piece makes is that McConnell's real problem doesn't have much to do with his gaffes:
McConnell's larger concern has to be the 65 percent job disapproval rating in The Courier-Journal's recent Bluegrass Poll, Sabato added.And it's not just his disapproval rating: According to Public Policy Polling's latest survey, McConnell trails Grimes. Moreover, he's out-of-step with his state on Obamacare repeal, at least as long as you don't call it Obamacare. According to the poll, more than half the state supports the decision to expand Medicaid and voters say they are more likely to vote against McConnell for opposing it than they are to vote for him.
"McConnell's problem isn't any of these little things; it's that over time he has lost the affections of a substantial portion of the population of Kentucky," he said.
Meanwhile, nearly 1 in 12 Kentuckians now have health insurance through Kynect or the Medicaid expansion. Nearly 75 percent of them didn't have insurance before they got enrolled, but if McConnell has his way, 100 percent of them won't have any coverage at all because Kynect and the state's Medicaid expansion will both be repealed. That would be terrible news for the state and it doesn't take a gaffe from Mitch to explain why.