Rand Paul Has Kentucky Senate Election In The Bag

Rand Paul is the next Senator of Kentucky. The election is all but wrapped up.

Most people will immediately respond that it is way too early to make such a statement; how can we possibly know what will happen over the next nine to ten months? I will concede the point that we can never be sure how an election will turn out ten months before the vote, but all evidence points towards a Rand Paul win come November.

1) Polling
Rand has seen meteoric rise in the polls over the past five months. He went from losing 26-37 in August to establishment pick Trey Grayson, to leading Grayson 44-25 in December. Also, while he was picking up this lead there was an increasing number of undecided voters from 17% in August to 32% in December. The momentum is clearly on Rand Paul’s side.

2) Campaign
From the beginning Rand has arguably run a stronger campaign. Despite never being elected to office in Kentucky, Paul had the advantage of being Congressman Ron Paul’s son. This allowed him to make his announcement on national television that he would be running for Senate. While Trey Grayson attacked this as an example of how Paul was an “outsider” to Kentucky, the famous comeback by Paul swung this war of words in his favor, “I’ve been a Kentuckian longer than Grayson’s been a Republican!”

3) Fundraising
After accusing Paul of being an outsider, Grayson made what some would call his fatal mistake in the campaign: host a $500 per plate fundraiser in Washington, D.C. where 17 of 23 Republican Senators in attendance voted for the bank bailout. Paul railed on the bank bailout from the beginning, and this fund raiser invigorated supporters of Paul who raised over $1 million in the third quarter, dwarfing Grayson’s $642,800.

4) Tea Party Candidate
The one major thing Rand Paul has done that has allowed him to surge in the Kentucky Senate Campaign is distinguish himself as a Tea Party Candidate. This goes back to Grayson’s “Bailout” fundraiser. At Fancy Farm, a major political event in Kentucky, Rand railed on the bailout bill. Between Rand’s public opposition to the bailout and Grayson’s support of bailout-voting Senators, Rand is clearly embodying the Tea Party image. Along with his fiscal conservatism and general belief in small government, Paul truly has become the “Tea Party” candidate in this Senate Race.

5) Kentucky Favors Republicans

Kentucky has two Republican Senators and overwhelmingly went for McCain in the 2008 election. 2010 will not be an easy year for Democrats, and Rand is polling 14% above Daniel Mongiardo and 8% above Jack Conway. Though these are not “blow out” totals, he has consistently gained against these two candidates. Perhaps I am not giving them nearly enough credit, but both candidates will need to spend more money as the Democratic Primary is much closer with only recently (in the last poll) Conway passing Mongiardo. As I said, unless Democrats have a major turnaround before November, the “Tea Party” Republican candidate is all but certain to win the election.

If the Paul campaign continues to campaign as hard as they have the past six months and reinforce Paul’s conservative values, I think this campaign is all but decided.

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