Friday, May 16, 2014

Senate race roundup for Friday, May 16: Issues, answers, forecasts, and a pending poll

Looking at this morning's news and looking ahead to the weekend:
  • The Courier-Journal publishes nearly a full page of answers to questions on issues by candidates of both parties, headlining that McConnell and Bevin agree on a lot. "About the only thing they disagree on is whether the United States should scale back its role overseas," Joe Gerth writes.
  • Lexington-Herald Leader reporter Sam Youngman says Matt Bevin fights hard against McConnell but hasn't persuaded voters that McConnell enables Obama's agenda. "The cards were stacked against Bevin from the beginning," says University of Kentucky political science professor Steven Voss.
  • The Christian Science Monitor headlines a story by Francine Kifer, "Why Mitch McConnell ... is so vulnerable at home." Answers: Low regard for Congress, McConnell's support for Rand Paul's opponent Trey Grayson in 2010, and "the odd political mix that is Kentucky."
  • The Fix, a column in The Washington Post, lowers its probability that Republicans will take control of the Senate to 77 percent, from 82 percent, mainly on the strength of Democratic fund-raising. It still puts Kentucky among the states where the Republican has a 75 percent chance or better of winning.
  • The savvy Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report says it's foolish to forecast the Senate races because of four factors that are in flux: President Obama's popularity, whether Obamacare remains a big issue, voter turnout and the new technology being used to drive it, and unforced errors by candidates.
  • The Bluegrass Poll for major news organizations in Kentucky is expected to announce its latest survey in the Senate race tonight.
  • Youngman reports that Grimes has scheduled a June 5 fundraiser in Washington "with 'special guest' Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."
  • C-J Washington correspondent James R. Carroll reports McConnell will still remain minority leader even if Republicans don't take control of the Senate, according to a survey by the National Journal.

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