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United States Senate election in Kentucky, 2010

 

United States Senate election in Kentucky, 2010

United States Senate election in Kentucky, 2010

November 2, 2010

 
Nominee Rand Paul Jack Conway
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 755,216 599,617
Percentage 55.7% 44.3%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Jim Bunning
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Rand Paul
Republican

The 2010 United States Senate election in Kentucky took place on November 2, 2010 alongside other elections to the United States Senate in other states as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Primaries for each respective party were held on May 18, 2010.[1] Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Jim Bunning decided to retire instead of seeking a third term. Republican nominee Rand Paul won the open seat.[2]

Bunning's controversies

In early 2009, incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Jim Bunning said he would need to raise $10 million for his re-election campaign.[3] However, National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman John Cornyn pressured Bunning to retire due to concerns that he could lose a re-election bid.[4] In July 2009, Bunning announced he would not run for re-election.[5]

In February 2009, Senator Bunning stated that another justice could soon be appointed to the United States Supreme Court because Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, would be dead within nine months,[6] creating a significant amount of controversy, which resulted in an apology from Bunning.[7]

In late May 2009, Bunning called fellow Kentucky Senator and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a "control freak" and suggested that he did not need McConnell's endorsement.[8] He has also challenged Lexington Herald Leader editor John Stamper to an arm wrestling match over a question of being "fit to serve."[8]

Additionally, Bunning created further controversy in February 2010 when he objected to a proposal of unanimous consent for an extension of unemployment insurance, COBRA, and other federal programs, citing that this extension was not pay-as-you-go. He proposed an amendment which sought to find the funds to pay for the bill from the Stimulus Bill of 2009, and declared that he supported the unemployed, but that a bill such as this only added to the growing deficit and that it should be paid for immediately.[9][10][11] Senator Bob Corker joined Bunning, while other senators worked to cease his objections. When Senator Jeff Merkley urged him to drop his objections to vote on a 30-day extension of benefits, Bunning responded "tough shit."[12] Bunning finally agreed to end his objection to the bill in exchange for a vote on his amendment to pay for the package. It failed 53–43 on a procedural vote.[13] The extension of unemployment benefits then passed by a vote of 78–19.[14]

Republican primary

Candidates

Campaign

On August 20, 2009, a grassroots-planned moneybomb raised $433,509 for Rand Paul's campaign in a 24-hour period.[15] According to Paul,[16] this set a new record in Kentucky's political fundraising history (for a 24-hour period). Republican Liberty Caucus endorsed Paul in November 2009.[17] On December 22, 2009, Rand Paul picked up the endorsement of Concerned Women for America.[18] Paul has embraced the Tea Party movement, and has promoted "small government principles," one day after he officially entered the race for Kentucky's open seat.[19] Paul has run a strong anti-Washington message. One commercial tied Grayson as part of the problem, noting that Grayson raised money with AIG executives in Washington. In another advertisement, Paul had also attacked Grayson as a career politician and a liar.[20]

Grayson created a new website that attacked Paul for his "strange ideas," such as his opposition of the PATRIOT Act, and what Grayson alleged to be his support of closing down Guantanamo Bay and saying that Iran was not a threat. He also attacked Paul for being a Duke University fan. He sent out another TV ad and web video that stirred controversy by making the case that Paul believes that foreign policy decisions made prior to September 11, 2001 are partially to blame for the attacks.[21] Paul immediately responded by launching a statewide television ad in which he expresses his "outrage at terrorists who killed 3,000 innocents" before accusing Grayson of a "lie" and a "shameful" tactic.[22] Grayson has accused the Fox News Channel of favoring Paul over him.[23]

On May 18, 2010, Paul won the Republican nomination.[2] After conceding the election to Paul, Grayson said, "It's time to put all differences aside, unite behind Dr. Paul, he needs our help and I for one stand ready to serve".[24]

Endorsements

Polling

Results

Counties carried by Paul are in Yellow; counties carried by Grayson are in green.
Republican primary results[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Rand Paul 206,986 58.8%
Republican Trey Grayson 124,864 35.4%
Republican Bill Johnson* 7,861 2.2%
Republican John Stephenson 6,885 2.0%
Republican Gurley L. Martin 2,850 0.8%
Republican Jon J. Scribner 2,829 0.8%
Totals 352,275 100%

*Though Bill Johnson dropped out of the race prior to the primary, he still appeared on the ballot.

Democratic primary

Candidates

Campaign

Mongiardo announced that he had received the endorsement of Governor Steve Beshear[54] and has raised $420,000.[55]

Due to Conway's large margin of victory in his state-wide campaign for attorney general, his fundraising ability, and the age difference between Conway and Bunning, Conway was described as a viable candidate.[56]

Both candidates were against the Senate version of the Affordable Care Act. When Mongiardo said that "it was time to start over," he was criticized by Conway and labeled "Dr. No."[57] Both candidates supported the final version.[58][59] Attorney General Conway refused to join a lawsuit claiming that health care reform is unconstitutional.[60]

On May 18, 2010, Conway won the Democratic nomination.[61]

Endorsements

Polling

Results

The county carried by James Buckmaster is in gray. The county carried by Darlene Price is in brown. The counties carried by Dan Mongiardo are in blue. The counties carried by Jack Conway are in yellow.
Democratic primary results[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jack Conway 229,433 44.0%
Democratic Daniel Mongiardo 225,260 43.2%
Democratic Darlene Fitzgerald Price 28,531 5.5%
Democratic James Buckmaster 20,561 3.9%
Democratic Maurice Sweeney 17,874 3.4%
Totals 521,659 100%

General election

Candidates

Kentucky's ballot access requirements allow Republicans and Democrats to run for office with two signatures, but require minor parties and independents to collect at least 5,000 signatures.[68] The filing deadline for minor party and independent candidates was on August 10, and no candidate filed.[68]

Some speculate that the reason why no minor party or independent candidate filed is because Paul's candidacy may have helped discouraged it. The [69] Similarly, the Constitution Party of Kentucky has avoided the Senate race ostensibly because of Rand Paul's presence in that race and perhaps because of his more minarchist stance than Trey Grayson, especially if the latter had been the nominee.

Billy Ray Wilson, an independent of London, filed as a write-in candidate.[70][71][72]

Campaign

The campaign attracted $8.5 million in contributions from outside groups, of which $6 million was spent to help Rand Paul and $2.5 million to help Conway. This money influx was in addition to the money spent by the candidates themselves: $6 million by Paul and $4.7 million by Conway.[73][74]

Before the final Paul-Conway debate, a MoveOn activist was stomped on by a Rand Paul supporter and a video of the event was later used in a Conway TV commercial.[75][76] Paul and Conway condemned the attack and the supporter was banned from campaign events.[75][77]

Paul was endorsed by The Kentucky Enquirer,[78] The Richmond Register,[79] and the Bowling Green Daily News;[80] as well as by the National Federation of Independent Business,[81] Council for Citizens Against Government Waste,[82] National Right to Life,[83] US Chamber of Commerce,[84] National Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans Coalition,[85] Mike Huckabee,[86] and Tony Perkins/FRC Action PAC.[87][88]

Conway was endorsed by the Courier-Journal[89] and the Lexington Herald Leader.[90]

Debates

There were 5 televised debates between the two candidates. The first debate on October 3, 2010, which was moderated by Chris Wallace, seemed to focus on President Obama's decisions during his 2 years as President. Paul stated, "I think his agenda is wrong for America. I will stand up against President Obama's agenda." Conway responded, "I am a proud Democrat. I'm certainly not going to be on the left of Barack Obama." At the time of the debate, the election's polls indicated the race was a dead heat.[91]

Predictions

Source Ranking As of
Cook Political Report Leans R[92] November 1, 2010
Rothenberg Leans R[93] October 29, 2010
RealClearPolitics Leans R[94] October 19, 2010
Sabato's Crystal Ball Leans R[95] October 14, 2010
CQ Politics Leans R[96] October 20, 2010
Rasmussen Reports Solid R[97] October 29, 2010
New York Times Leaning R[98] October 20, 2010

Fundraising

Candidate (party) Receipts Disbursements Cash on hand Debt
Rand Paul (R) $6,727,033 $6,068,547 $658,484 $0
Jack Conway (D) $5,027,318 $4,370,349 $684,177 $460,794
Source: Federal Election Commission[99]

Polling

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Rand
Paul (R)
Jack
Conway (D)
Other Unde-
cided
Public Policy Polling (report) October 28–30, 2010 1,021 ± 3.1% 55% 40% 5%
Rasmussen Reports (report) October 27, 2010 750 ± 4.0% 53% 41% 2% 4%
SurveyUSA (report) October 24–27, 2010 900 ± 4.0% 52% 43% 4%
Opinion Research (report) October 20–26, 2010 785 ± 3.5% 50% 43%
Public Policy Polling (report) October 21–24, 2010 900 ± 3.3% 53% 40% 7%
Rasmussen Reports (report) October 23, 2010 1,000 ± 3.0% 50% 43% 2% 5%
Mason-Dixon (report) October 18–19, 2010 625 ± 4.0% 48% 43% 9%
Rasmussen Reports (report) October 18, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 47% 42% 4% 7%
Rasmussen Reports (report) September 29, 2010 500 ± 4.0% 49% 38% 5% 8%
SurveyUSA (report) September 21–23, 2010 611 ± 4.0% 49% 47% 4%
Public Policy Polling (report) September 11–12, 2010 959 ± 3.2% 49% 42% 9%
Rasmussen Reports (report) September 7, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 54% 39% 2% 4%
Opinion Research (report) September 2–7, 2010 869 ± 3.5% 46% 46% 5% 4%
SurveyUSA (report) August 30 – September 1, 2010 561 ± 4.2% 55% 40% 5%
Rasmussen Reports (report) August 17, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 49% 40% 4% 7%
Reuters/Ipsos (report) August 13–15, 2010 435 ± 4.7% 45% 40% 15%
SurveyUSA (report) July 27–29, 2010 568 ± 4.2% 51% 43% 5%
Rasmussen Reports (report) July 20, 2010 750 ± 4.0% 49% 41% 4% 6%
Public Policy Polling (report) June 28–30, 2010 625 ± 3.9% 43% 43% 14%
Rasmussen Reports (report) June 28, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 49% 42% 3% 6%
Rasmussen Reports (report) June 1, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 49% 41% 4% 6%
SurveyUSA (report) May 25–27, 2010 569 ± 4.2% 51% 45% 4%
Research 2000 (report) May 24–26, 2010 600 ± 4.0% 44% 41% 9%
Rasmussen Reports (report) May 19, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 59% 34% 4% 3%
Research 2000 (report) (archive) May 10–12, 2010 600 ± 4.0% 42% 39% 19%
Public Policy Polling (report) May 1–2, 2010 946 ± 3.2% 41% 40% 19%
Rasmussen Reports (report) April 28, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 47% 38% 4% 10%
Rasmussen Reports (report) March 31, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 50% 36% 3% 11%
Research 2000 (report) (archive) March 15–17, 2010 600 ± 5.0% 45% 39% 16%
Rasmussen Reports (report) March 2, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 49% 34% 4% 13%
Rasmussen Reports (report) February 2, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 47% 39% 3% 11%
Rasmussen Reports (report) January 6, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 46% 38% 4% 12%
Public Policy Polling (report) December 18–21, 2009 1,199 ± 2.8% 42% 36% 22%
SurveyUSA (report) October 30 – November 2, 2009 1,770 ± 2.4% 39% 44% 17%
Rasmussen Reports (report) September 30, 2009 500 ± 4.5% 38% 42% 4% 15%
Research 2000 (report) (archive) August 31 – September 2, 2009 600 ± 4.0% 37% 41% 22%
SurveyUSA (report) August 15–17, 2009 1,944 ± 2.3% 38% 43% 19%

Results

General election results
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Rand Paul 755,216 55.74% +5.09%
Democratic Jack Conway 599,617 44.26% -5.09%
Majority 155,599 11.48%
Total votes 1,354,833 100%
Republican hold Swing

References

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External links

  • Kentucky State Board of Elections
  • U.S. Congress candidates for Kentucky (Archive) at Project Vote Smart
  • Kentucky U.S. Senate 2010 from OurCampaigns.com
  • Campaign contributions from Open Secrets
  • 2010 Kentucky Senate General Election: Rand Paul (R) vs Jack Conway (D) graph of multiple polls from Pollster.com
  • Election 2010: Kentucky Senate from Rasmussen Reports
  • 2010 Kentucky Senate Race from Real Clear Politics
  • 2010 Kentucky Senate Race from CQ Politics
  • Race profile from The New York Times
  • Kentucky Senate election coverage from The Courier-Journal, Louisville
  • Kentucky Senate election coverage from the Lexington Herald-Leader, including Voter's Guide for Democratic and Republican candidates
Debates
  • Kentucky Senate Democratic Primary Debate, C-SPAN, May 3, 2010
  • Kentucky Senate Republican Primary Debate, C-SPAN, May 10, 2010
  • Kentucky Senate Candidate Forum, C-SPAN, July 22, 2010
  • Kentucky Senate Debate, Fox News Sunday, October 3, 2010, full transcript
Official campaign websites
  • Jack Conway for U.S. Senate
  • Rand Paul for U.S. Senate
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