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McConnell in trouble in Kentucky senate race

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Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican Party in the U.S. Senate, has low ratings among voters in his native Kentucky, according to a survey released Wednesday by Public Policy Polling.

According to PPP, 37 percent approve of McConnell's performance as a senator, and 51 disapprove.

He has a one point lead, 45-44, over possible Democratic contender Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Since the estimated margin of error for the survey is plus or minus about four percentage points, the senate race is essentially even.

There has been a "run of PPP surveys showing the two

candidates within a few points of each other going all the way back to last May," the pollster reported.

Proposals to raise the federal minimum wage may be a key issue in Kentucky, PPP reported, with 57 percent supporting it in Kentucky, 34 percent opposing and 17 percent saying the issue is important enough to them they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes increasing the minimum wage.

McConnell is leader of an increasingly divided Senate Republican Caucus, which has split on a number of issues along conservative vs. moderate lines.

Grimes, 35, could prove to be a formidable opponent as the election draws closer. She was elected Kentucky's Secretary of State in 2011 with 61 percent of the vote against the GOP's Bill Johnson.

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