Midterm Races in Kentucky

Two weeks from Election Day, I am reminded of Duane Bobick, the former heavyweight contender once dubbed the “great white hope.”  While the childish jackasses at DailyKos are dancing on the grave of Republican Terri Lynn Land’s chances in the Michigan senatorial race, they seem to have forgotten that their “great female hope” in Kentucky is also going down in flames.  Unlike Michigan, however, which is an open Democratic seat, the GOP incumbent in Kentucky is not exactly a darling of the voters of that state.  [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] would look like a real good target to take down this electoral cycle.  He’s not popular, he is the Senate Minority leader and the face of an inactive Congress, and he has all the personality of a slug.  He is simply boring- as in [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] boring.  Yet, here is Allison Lundergan-Grimes with all this money, all this Democratic backing and all this negativity against McConnell likely to lose a race that could have been won by the Democrats this year.

Its hard to say where she went wrong, but some time after the Republican primary that turned out not to be much of a contest after all, McConnell took off in the polls.  There is a lot of outside money pouring into this race on both sides along with political heavyweights weighing in.  But in the end, it would appear that the voters of Kentucky just are not ready to switch gears and will reelect McConnell to the Senate.  Further, Grimes’ chances dimmed even more when she invoked the sanctity of the voting booth and refused to answer whether she voted for Obama.  This was not only a politically dumb response, it also underscored the trend among Democrats to distance themselves from Obama.  Unfortunately, these assertions are only during the campaign and rest assured they will embrace their hero’s policies should they keep the Senate.

For me, the news is bittersweet.  Should the GOP capture the Senate, McConnell would be Majority Leader.  Given his performance as Minority Leader, that does not satisfy me.  Still, one has to consider this a necessary evil in the overall scheme of things.  There are rumors that should the GOP not win the Senate, McConnell will be out as Minority Leader if he wins this race.  It will be a close race and Republicans win Senate races in Kentucky by an average of 6-10 points since 1990, but not this year.  The race will like result in a 5 point victory for McConnell.

The GOP holds 5 of Kentucky’s six seats in the House.  With all incumbents running for reelection, that partisan breakdown will remain the same.

Next: The Sunshine State, Florida.

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