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U.S. Senate candidates, Mitch McConnell and Amy McGrath, meet on stage for the first time

Posted at 5:50 PM, Oct 12, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Ads from the Senate campaigns have flooded the airwaves, the web, and even your mailboxes.

Now, we finally get to see them face off on the same stage.

Longtime Senator Mitch McConnell and Democrat challenger Amy McGrath are scheduled to debate Monday evening.

LEX 18's Conroy Delouche spoke with NBC's political editor and moderator of Meet the Press, Chuck Todd, about the race this week.

He says the Republican is the heavy favorite, but that's not a guarantee for victory.

"I mean, any time you have an incumbent seeking a fifth, sixth, or seventh term, it is always a lot more precarious once they've got past those first few re-elections," said Todd.

The polls seem to indicate a substantial McConnell lead. According to last month's Morning Consult poll, McConnell led McGrath by 15 points. In the Quinnipiac University poll, McConnell led by 12 points. In that same poll released for the presidential race, Trump led Biden by 20 points among Kentucky voters.

Todd says that differential in the races shows a possible small opening for McGrath.

"She can't win with just Biden voters. She's got to win; she's got to create a constituency of Trump/McGrath voters. You know, does she find a way to create a divide between McConnell and the president, for instance, on virus relief. The president wants a big number. It is Senate Republicans that don't want to do that. There perhaps are some ways to do that. Whether that is a viable...whether or not there are enough of those voters available to her? I'm skeptical," said Todd.

Todd says healthcare, especially in the pandemic, is a giant issue, especially as negotiations on a relief package have stalled.

"I am shocked that we are this close to the election, and there is not a new relief bill. The idea that all these folks want to have people go to the polls without that certainty that Congress might have a helping hand on some of this stuff, I'm shocked that we got this far. I do think that this is one of these, this is one of these don't know how it plays. You know Mitch McConnell has one goal right now. It is to confirm, it is to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice," said Todd.