(CNN) - Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes out raised Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell during the first three months of this year, but the five-term senator still holds a more than two-to-one advantage over his Democratic challenger when it comes to money in the bank.
The Senate battle in the Bluegrass State could turn into the most expensive and most bitter contest this year.
Follow @politicaltickerFollow @psteinhausercnn
Grimes' campaign reported Tuesday that it brought in over $2.7 million during the January through March period, the second time in the past three quarters that she's out raised McConnell. The senator's campaign announced Monday it had a $2.4 million haul for the first quarter of 2014.
"Grassroots supporters from all 120 Kentucky counties have invested in our campaign, demonstrating the growing excitement from Democrats, Republicans and Independents to elect a leader who will bring a fresh, bold vision to the U.S. Senate. Alison’s focus on creating good-paying jobs and strengthening the middle class is clearly resonating with Kentuckians," said Grimes' senior adviser Jonathan Hurst.
When it comes to cash on hand, McConnell still has the larger war chest. His campaign announced that it has $10.4 million in the bank, down around $500,000 from where it started the year. Grimes' campaign says it has just under $5 million cash on hand.
Key races to watch in 2014
Grimes is trying to frame the contest as a referendum McConnell and his three decades in Washington, while McConnell is trying to tie Grimes to President Barack Obama, who's unpopular in Kentucky.
"The very same ultra rich liberal elite who bankrolled Barack Obama into the White House are pulling out all the stops for Alison Lundergan Grimes. Kentuckians know darn well her entire campaign is funded by those who seek to destroy Kentucky values and our way of life and the only way they can accomplish that is by getting rid of the man responsible for stopping them, Mitch McConnell," said Allison Moore, the senator's campaign spokeswoman.
Before facing off against Grimes in the general election, McConnell has to fend off a primary challenge from the right from businessman Matt Bevin, who enjoys the support of some tea party groups and some Washington-based conservative organizations. Bevin announced that he raised $1.1 million in the first three months of the year.
Polls indicate that McConnell is the overwhelming favorite in Kentucky's May 20th GOP Senate primary, but the surveys also suggest that things are tied up between the senator and Grimes in a potential November showdown.
Koch money won't win Mitch neck this election. He is the face of obstruction in Washington and I think the people of Kentucky deserve better. Hopefully Bevin beats the Duke Blue Devil.
Hope she wins the election. If there was ever a creep in need of replacement, it's Mitch.
It will be sweet irony if the Minority Leader looses to a Denocrat.
WHOOPIE!!!!!!!!!!!! I really do hope that the turtle head McConnell loses. He is nothing but a racist wanna be thug. This is the man who pulled America apart. He was so devastated that a black man was elected President and then lead all of the backroom deals to get him impeached because of Presidents Obama skin color. Never mingd that Barack has more intelligence than Mitch does in his pinkie finger. Mitch and the other racist republicans in the house need to voted out period. They wil deny it but the world can see that the GOP/TP Klan is nothing but a group of racist pigs. Sorry pigs but the fities are gone, so we have to vote you clowns out of office so that America can move forward. Also Mitch remember Karma is a you know what.
i just love seeing the democrats wasting tens of millions of dollars on this race! kentucky is not voting for an obamabot to replace mitch. you clowns have been smoking way to much of the medicinal marijuana.
Mitch,is will hands down. Ky.Is full of very poor uneducated farmers with no land. Its not uncommon to see a young man with no job and collecting a goverment check. But if your white i guess its ok. We repuclicans must do a better job at pointing out of the lazy bombs in our society. Not just target blacks and latino.
Does anyone remember the Charlie McCarthy/Mortimer Snerd team? Methinks Mitch reminds me of Charlie! Please get him out of office, Kentucky! Enough is ENOUGH!
Tee endgame is at hand for the clown who has no agenda other than to block, stall, and obstruct. Grimes wins by 3 to 5 points in November.
McConnell holds a gun like a girl. What self-respecting Kentuckian would vote for that kind of pansy?!
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is extra crispy finger lickin good !
Mitch has done more to make Obama a one term president then say Ted Cruz , never has so much been done doing nothing , at such a high cost .
Mission Accomplished !