Larry Sabato’s analyzes 2010 election

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Rand Paul Must Be Doing Something Right

The Cheneyites are nervous:

Senior Republicans in Kentucky and Washington D.C. are deeply concerned about Senate candidate Trey Grayson’s campaign as he struggles to narrow the gap against GOP primary rival Rand Paul.

Two months before the election, the libertarian-leaning Paul, son of the Texas congressman and quixotic presidential contender, has tapped into anti-Washington grass-roots fervor on the right and staked out an advantage over Grayson, Kentucky’s secretary of state and establishment favorite.

There have been few polls in the race, but an automated survey earlier this month showed Paul leading by double digits. Even Grayson backers acknowledge that their candidate is lagging, if not as badly as the public polls indicate.

A win by Paul, a Bowling Green ophthalmologist, would represent the first true electoral success of the tea party movement. Equally important, it would embarrass Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose political organization is running Grayson’s campaign, thrust onto the national stage a Republican with foreign policy views out of the conservative mainstream and, strategists in both parties believe, imperil the GOP’s hold on the seat now held by retiring Sen. Jim Bunning.

Recognizing the threat, a well-connected former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney convened a conference call last week between Grayson and a group of leading national security conservatives to sound the alarm about Paul.

“On foreign policy, [global war on terror], Gitmo, Afghanistan, Rand Paul is NOT one of us,” Cesar Conda wrote in an e-mail to figures such as Liz Cheney, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Dan Senor and Marc Thiessen

Rand Paul: Not A Neo-Con Warmonger.

The commercials write themselves.

KY Senate: SurveyUSA polls GOP Senate primary, Rand Paul holds lead

On the heels of last week’s Rasmussen survey, which took at look at general election prospects, SurveyUSA is out with a poll, sponsored by the Louisville Courier-Journal and WHAS-TV, in the primary between Rand Paul and his Republican primary opponents.

Kentucky GOP Senate Primary

  • Rand Paul: 42%
  • Trey Grayson: 27%
  • Bill Johnson: 5%
  • Gurley Martin: 3%
  • John Stephenson: 2%
  • Jon Scribner: 1%
  • Undecided: 19%

The poll shows a generic Republican and a generic Democrat neck and neck at 43% to 42%, with both splitting independents right down the middle.

KY Senate: Rand Paul leads Democrats by double-digits

Rasmussen is out with new polling in Kentucky showing Rand Paul and his primary opponent, Trey Grayson, with double-digit leads over potential general election match-ups with Democrats, Daniel Mongiardo and Jack Conway.

Rand Paul v. Daniel Mongiardo

  • Mongiardo: 34%
  • Paul: 51%
  • Other: 3%
  • Not sure: 12%

Rand Paul v. Jack Conway

  • Conway: 34%
  • Paul: 49%
  • Other: 4%
  • Not sure: 13%

Grayson also polls well against Conway and Mongiardo, but not as well at Paul.

Opposition to health care is an issue that is hurting the two Democrats, as 53% of likely voters strongly oppose ObamaCare. Voters are also not very kind to President Barack Obama on the issue, as 58% disapprove of his handling of health care.

Bunning wants PAYGO rules followed before extending unemployment benefits

As you may know, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) has been holding up $10 billion in extended unemployment benefits. It’s a procedural tactic. Every time another Senator calls for unanimous consent, Bunning objects. Unfortunately, not many in his caucus are defending him.

Some in the media are calling it a filibuster. It’s not. And Bunning is not doing this because he philosophically opposes unemployment benefits. He plans on voting for them. Bunning is objecting because he wants the Democratic majority to abide by the PAY-GO rules. For those of you that don’t know, PAY-GO requires any new spending to be paid for by a tax increase or spending cuts. This different from paying for this extension through debt.

While I wish Bunning were doing this on philosophical and constitutional grounds, kudos to him for standing up for holding Democrats accountable.

Rand Paul gives closing arguments during debate

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KY Senate: Rand Paul holds commanding lead

A new poll from Magellan Strategies shows Rand Paul appears to be pulling away from Trey Grayson, the establishment candidate, in the Republican primary for United States Senate in Kentucky.

Rand Paul v. Trey Grayson

  • Grayson: 23%
  • Paul: 44%
  • Undecided: 33%

Paul’s name ID is at 90% with 43% of GOP primary voters having a favorable view of him (12% have an unfavorable view). Grayson on the other hand has an 85% name ID, but only 31% of voters have a favorable view of him and 20% have an unfavorable view.

The interesting dynamic here is that Grayson has been elected statewide, first in 2003 and he won re-election in 2007. It’s remarkable that Rand Paul, who is making his first run for elected office has a higher name ID in a GOP than someone who has run twice statewide and his a current elected official.

Rand Paul releases first TV ad

Rand Paul’s campaign for United States Senate in Kentucky is airing its first ad, purchasing $50,000 worth of air time on the Fox News Channel.

In the ad, Rand Paul discusses national defense and keeping accused terrorists at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba:

This ad is going to make many of Ron Paul’s supporters very angry, much like his comments blasting Barack Obama over trials for Gitmo detainees back in November. He risks alienating a lot of people. However, the overwhelming majority of them aren’t casting a ballot in Kentucky Republican primary on May 18th.

It’s certainly smart politics, I don’t dispute that, but I don’t like that he is towing the fear-mongering party line.

Sarah Palin Endorses Rand Paul

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Palin endorses Rand Paul

Editor’s note: We posted about this last week, but has since become official.

What could be a better followup to my previous post than scanning the front page of Politico and stumbling across this headline: Palin endorses Rand Paul

I checked Rand’s home page and found this:

National political icon and conservative leader Sarah Palin has endorsed Dr. Rand Paul in his bid for United States Senate from Kentucky. The Paul campaign has received a generous donation from Governor Palin’s PAC.

Sarah Palin has clearly seen that Rand Paul supports smaller, constitutional government and is taking the fight to the career politicians and will shake up the tax and spend crowd in Washington D.C.

“Governor Palin is providing tremendous leadership as the Tea Party movement and constitutional conservatives strive to take our country back,” Rand said.

“Sarah Palin is a giant in American politics. I am proud to receive her support.”

“I’m trying to go to Washington to fight to lower taxes and spending, and for term limits and balanced budgets. I will go to protect the lives of our unborn children,” Rand said.

We know one thing: Rand has the Republican nomination in the bag and now its a matter of growing in his polling against the Democrat challengers.

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