Kentucky ready to throw a tempered Tea Party party?
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The race: US Senate, Kentucky
The candidates: Rand Paul (Republican) vs. Jack Conway (Democrat)
The intrigue: The Tea Party has been the big story of the midterm elections, but it is unclear if voters will carry the movement all the way to Washington. Rand Paul (pictured left), who has led the anti-big government charge in Kentucky, could take the Tea Partiers from the sidelines to centre stage.
When a Libertarian-leaning eye doctor used Internet fundraising and a Sarah Palin endorsement to catapult past the establishment Republican in Kentucky’s GOP primary, Democrats jumped for joy. The national media pounced on Paul’s non-committal stance on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and affirmative action policies for disabled people. While the Paul camp has fought off Democrat Jack Conway’s efforts to paint their candidate as an extremist, Paul has stopped plugging the Tea Party with the fervour of the past; making some wonder if even the most vocal Tea lovers won’t switch to the standard GOP latte if they reach Congress.
The odds: Rand Paul is on pace to win the senatorial post being vacated by Republican Jim Bunning. Jack Conway has consistently trailed Paul in opinion polls, but never by more than a few percentage points.