Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Mitch McConnell's re-election bid is gaining steam

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn't appear to be going anywhere.

After trailing or running dead even for months with Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell posted a modest four-point edge over her in the latest PPP survey, released Tuesday. In the poll, McConnell led 44 percent to 40 percent, with seven percent going for Libertarian David Patterson. It's a marked turnaround from April when Grimes led 45 percent to 44 percent.

The primary reason for McConnell's surge: A consolidation of support from Republican voters. As PPP notes, McConnell held a 49-point edge among GOP voters in the last poll. But after McConnell handily thwarted a primary challenger in May, Republicans have since rallied around his campaign, boosting his edge with GOP voters to a healthy 67-point margin.

That rallying effect is why McConnell, despite his dismal approval rating and noted struggles in early polls, was still widely considered to be in relatively strong shape heading toward November. McConnell is a 77 percent favorite to win re-election per the New York Times' latest midterm forecast.