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.

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the 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. 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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