McGrath will need that money to take on McConnell, but it also will take a carefully executed strategy to actually beat him in a state that Donald Trump won by 30 points in 2016 and where he still enjoys a 17 percent net approval rating. Trump will almost certainly win Kentucky in 2020, so the best Democrats can hope for is a split-ticket scenario where pro-Trump voters don’t cast their ballot for McConnell. Democrats are also hoping they can replicate Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s 2019 playbook of flipping some suburban areas around the blue centers of Louisville and Lexington that saw massive Democratic turnout.
McGrath campaign manager Mark Nickolas recently told Vox the campaign is ready to play McConnell’s game in the general election.
McConnell “is a guy who is battle-tested, and he leans into his bad narrative. He likes being the devil,” Nickolas said. “You have to rethink what a campaign is. You have to be willing to do things that are groundbreaking in politics.”