Amy McGrath Nearly Pulled off One of the Biggest Upsets in 2018. Now She’s Taking on Mitch McConnell.

The former marine fighter pilot could pose a serious threat to the Republican Senate leader.

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Kentucky Democrat Amy McGrath, the former Marine fighter pilot who entered the national spotlight last year after she narrowly lost to Republican Rep. Andy Barr in the state’s 6th Congressional District, is back. And this time she’s taking on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

In a three-minute announcement video released Tuesday morning, McGrath sharply criticizes McConnell, saying he’s out of touch with Kentucky residents and blames him for turning Washington, DC “into something we all despise” and “a place where ideals go to die.”  

Minutes after McGrath’s video was posted, McConnell’s campaign fired back with its own video, calling McGrath “too liberal for Kentucky,” painting her as a progressive in the ranks with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. 

Ever since McGrath lost her election to Barr, she’s kept a fairly high profile in Washington. In December, she decided not to run for Kentucky governor after some Democrats raised concerns about her residency requirements. Since then, her name has been floating as potential challenger to McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been actively recruiting her to run since the beginning of the year. 

Despite McConnell’s vast unpopularity—according to polls from Morning Consult, just 36 percent of Kentuckians approve of McConnell, making him the least popular senator in the country—McGrath still has big hill to climb. As Dave Wasserman, an editor at Cook Political Report, pointed out, she lost her 2018 election to Barr by 3 points in a district that voted for President Donald Trump by 15 points in 2016. Now, she’s running against a Republican incumbent who’s held the seat for 34 years in a state that voted for Trump by 30 points in 2016. 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate