- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
In Senate race in Kentucky, the son also rises
‘Tea party’ buoys Rand Paul’s bid
Just days before the party primaries in Kentucky, outsider Senate candidate Rand Paul holds a double-digit lead over Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the “establishment” Republican anointed by the GOP’s Washington leadership - including Senate minority leader and fellow Kentuckian Mitch McConnell.
The race is the latest test of the strength of the anti-Washington sentiment fueling insurgent campaigns like Mr. Paul’s across the country - and would be a bitter rebuke for Mr. McConnell from the state party he helped build.
Mr. McConnell and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, strongly backed Mr. Grayson in the race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Jim Bunning. But Mr. Paul, a Bowling Green ophthalmologist, has emerged from the state’s powerful “tea party” movement as the candidate to beat.
Mr. Paul, the son of Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul, downplays suggestions that his race with Mr. Grayson has implications for Mr. McConnell or other Washington leaders.
“This race isn’t about Mitch McConnell,” he said, “It’s about Rand Paul and Trey Grayson and the issues we’re talking about in this campaign. But I will say this: If we do win on Tuesday, this is a big victory for the tea party movement and what we stand for.”
He also downplayed reports that, if he wins the Senate seat, he wouldn’t support the return of his Kentucky colleague to lead the Senate Republican caucus.
“There’s been way too much made of that comment,” he told The Washington Times on Wednesday in a phone interview from Bowling Green. “I said I wouldn’t necessarily vote for him, but I also said I wouldn’t necessarily vote against him. It would depend on the circumstances, and no one knows what those will be. But the fact is, he endorsed [Mr. Grayson], and Grayson represents that part of the Republican Party that my supporters want to see change.”
Many in Washington see Mr. Paul as a proxy for “anti-establishment” figures within the party such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina - both of whom have endorsed the tea party candidate - while Mr. Grayson is seen as an extension of Washington’s GOP leadership,
And despite endorsements from Mr. McConnell and funding from Mr. Cornyn’s committee, Mr. Grayson is limping into the homestretch of the primary campaign looking for a miracle to turn around the relentlessly negative polling news.
In the latest surveys from Magellan Strategies, Survey USA and Kentucky Poll, Mr. Paul holds leads of from 12 to 15 percentage points over Mr. Grayson. More bad news came Thursday from a new Bluegrass Poll that showed Mr. Paul pulling away from Mr. Grayson with a 49 percent to 33 percent edge.
Mr. Paul is also polling very strongly in potential matchups against the leading Democratic candidates, Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo and state Attorney General Jack Conway, who are locked in their own tight contest for Tuesday’s primary.
Either Democrat would have a tough fight against Mr. Paul, said Maryland-based pollster Del Ali, who has studied the race for the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. Mr. Paul’s “anti-tax, anti-spending” message plays well with Kentucky voters, he said.
“People are just disgusted with Washington,” he said, “and Paul has really keyed in on that.”
Some Democrats have openly welcomed Mr. Paul’s rise, saying he would be far more beatable than the more centrist Mr. Grayson in the general election in November.
But Mr. McConnell expects the GOP to hold the seat whether Mr. Paul or Mr. Grayson prevails. “I think Kentucky’s in a pretty Republican mood this year,” he told ABC News this week.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Eldridge joined The Washington Times in 1999 and over the next seven years helped lead the paper’s coverage of regional politics and government, Sept. 11, and the sniper attacks of 2002. In 2006, he was named managing editor of the paper’s Web site. He came to The Times from the Telegraph in North Platte, Neb., where he served as ...
- John McCain, in Kiev, tells protesters that Ukraine is 'inspiring the world'
- Sens. Klobuchar, Collins predict a deal by Thursday
- Rand Paul: GOP can't accept Democrats' attempts to undo sequesters
- Lew says health exchange rollout glitches typical for new software
- John Boehner, Ted Cruz: Upcoming debt-ceiling vote will have conditions
Latest Blog Entries
- Mainers would rather move to Canada than down South
- McCain: 'Stand your ground' laws may need review
- Sen. Tom Coburn: Holder investigating himself is a 'total conflict of interest'
- CNN poll: IRS, AP and Benghazi haven't dinged Obama's approval rating
- Slain diplomat's mom on Obama's Benghazi comments: 'Bullfeathers'
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- IRS pays tax cheats hundreds of millions of dollars
- HURT: D.C. gets the vapors, calls sequester too much
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- EDITORIAL: Al Gore, soothsayer
- Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes for Sochi delegation
- We told you so: Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Rush weighs in: Maybe Republicans dont dislike Obamacare
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow