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Line Change!

It's time for a line change! Photo by Carlos Barria/REUTERS

Now that we have the Friday Lines constantly displayed on the right hand side of the page, we also have the chance to update them whenever we like.

Today we make our first major Line change -- dropping the Kentucky Senate race from the second slot to the fourth spot on the Line.

Sen. Jim Bunning's (R) retirement announcement on Monday gives Republicans a very real chance of holding the seat next fall.

Kentucky clearly leans toward Republicans at the federal level -- John McCain won it with 57.5 percent in 2008 -- and without Bunning and his baggage on the ballot, voters are more likely to revert to their natural leanings.

Why not drop it lower on the Line then?

Because Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) is entirely unproven on the big stage --not to mention the fact that he could have a primary challenge from, among others, Rand Paul, the son of Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R)

And because Democrats have a very strong field with state Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo competing for the nomination.

If Grayson fulfills the promise that many Republicans have for him, this race could down into the second five of the Line over the next few months. But, for the moment it remains a top fiver.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 28, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Posted by: opp88 | July 29, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Kentucky has its share of republicans, its true, but it has its share of fire breathing Radical republicans as well, and they will rightly expect that their guy get the nomination to replace Bunning.

A strong(er) economy, Republican tantrums, and the Right Wing's total obstructionism will probably coalesce to make this one state that easily goes Blue for 2012.

Be thankful that UK bumperstickers mostly say go "'cats"

Posted by: ceflynline | July 28, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

When are you going to add Texas to the line?

From Brad Jacksons column

"Democrats are looking to take advantage of an open Senate seat in Texas with the likely departure of Kay Bailey Hutchison as she gears up to run for Governor. Fundraising numbers came out this week, and the results may be a cause for concern among the Texas GOP. Bill White, the Mayor of Houston has raised more than $2.1 million at the end of the first quarter. The other heavyweight Democrat in the field is longtime Texas politician John Sharp, who also has $2.4 million in the bank, although $2 million of that is a loan from his personal funds.

Bill White should be a particular concern for Republicans in what has been a reliably red state for a while. White is a popular mayor from the nation’s fourth largest city, and Democrats have made some serious gains in the Lonestar state’s urban areas over the past several election cycles. The city of Dallas has swung blue in recent elections, pushing out many longtime GOP judges (who are elected in Texas) as well as county and city officials. Democrats also have made gains in the Houston area, and are strong in the Rio Grande Valley where Texas has it’s highest numbers of Hispanic voters.

A well funded candidate like White, or Sharp, with some national attention from the DNC, DSCC, MoveOn, and other liberal interest groups could make a 2010 special election a real hassle for the GOP. It would undoubtedly make it a mightily expensive campaign in a state with a lot ground, and a lot of media markets to be covered."

After John Cornyn's vote today we are going to have a great voting drive down here in Texas. To hell with the Alamo Remember Sotomayor!.

Posted by: bradcpa | July 28, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lajdawg | July 28, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

malis begs
"Ron Paul named his son Rand (as in Ayn)? Please tell me that's not true, that the 'Rand' is an old family name."

Sorry, Rand is not an old family name. At least Paul didn't name him Ayn.


Posted by: bsimon1 | July 28, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul named his son Rand (as in Ayn)? Please tell me that's not true, that the 'Rand' is an old family name.

Posted by: malis | July 28, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for finally giving Rand Paul a mention. Greyson's name recognition within the state will be very hard to beat, but I'm very glad Rand's playing with a gives libertarian Republicans a voice in the primaries. Good luck to both, a 60-vote supermajority is too dangerous!

-Spc Arellano

Posted by: lajdawg | July 28, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

JOKED seems to be senile.

Posted by: drindl | July 28, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

CC, I still think Kentucky is high. On a top 10 list, Kentucky wouldn't even make the line in my mind. Grayson will be unbeatable in a Republican primary. He does have experience winning statewide, as he is in his 2nd term as Secretary of State. In 2007, Grayson won with over 57% of the vote in a rough year for the GOP in Kentucky...Ernie Flesher lead the GOP ticket! Grayson is very popular with Kentucky GOP faithful and will likely get Bunning's endorsement. This will not help in the general election, no. However, if Bunning goes on and endorses Grayson now, it will likely deter or at least minimize a primary from Rand Paul or anyone else thinking about running. Grayson is also a good fundraiser, and Grayson will also get alot of help & support from John Cornyn & the NRSC and Mitch McConnell. Grayson will have a heck of a fundraising list, Obama's unpopularity in Ky., the support of national & local Republicans working for his election. CC, you say Mongiardo is a good candidate? He lost to Bunning in 2004. Grayson is in a great spot and is the definite front runner for this Senate seat.

Posted by: reason5 | July 28, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder: joked claims to be 71 years old.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 28, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The Kentucky race like every race in the top five is going to be determined by the state of our economy 9-12 months from now.
I think with Home prices starting to come up again, banks back on a level ground, and the stimilus package hitting its stride, that by this time next year the unemployment numbers will start to turn up and the Democrats clean house.

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 28, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

How can you possibly underrate Ohio? Lee Fisher does nothing but lose races. I can't think of a better candidate to run on the dem side to keep it in republican hands.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 28, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Bunning dropping out is great news for the GOP. His was the one seat I thought we would lose if he stayed in. Grayson will win because 2010 is going to be a big republican year, whether he can hold on to it in leaner years will depend on his talent or lack thereof.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 28, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The line makes a lot of sense, but i think you underrate Ohio. It certainly rates higher than PA.

Posted by: hilltopper1 | July 28, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Kentucky does lean red, but don't forget that Mitch McConnell was in a very close race with Lunsford last year. McConnell won by like five or six percent and this is someone with more popularity and a lot more power than Bunning.

Kentucky strikes me as one of those sort of in-between states like West Virginia or Louisiana. Those places won't look too kindly on a black, northerner with a name like Barack, but they will vote for a Democrat who is more custom fitted to the populace. (like a white midwesterner with a name like Bill)

An open seat is always an opportunity and considering how McConnell just eked through, a generic Republican will have to be considered an underdog to a good Democrat.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 28, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD | July 28, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD | July 28, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD | July 28, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Now you just have to figure out how to get the widget to show the update!

Four seems high, but then you wouldn't want to put it below PA, which seems like a longshot for a switch - polls notwithstanding.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 28, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

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