Some looking to Kentucky to see how election goes for Republicans

Roll Call has a look at some of the key races tonight, and lists Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race between Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat Bruce Lunsford along with Kentucky’s 2nd District race as two early indicators of how the night might go for Republicans. 

Here’s reporter Nathan Gonzales’s take on the 2nd District race where Democrat David Boswell is facing Republican Brett Guthrie for the seat held by Ron Lewis, a Cecilia Republican. 

Republicans are trying to hold onto 20 competitive open seats, including this district. In comparison, Democrats only have one vulnerable open seat (Alabama’s 5th). State Sen. Brett Guthrie (R) is battling state Sen. David Boswell (D) in a district that President Bush carried with 65 percent in 2004. This race could be an indication of whether conservative Democrats are voting Republican like they have recently. A wide discrepancy in polling makes predicting the outcome difficult, but this early contest is a must-win for Republicans.

And Chris Cillizza with The Washington Post is also listing the KY-2 as an early indicator for the results tonight. 

Here’s Cillizza’s take – 

When Republican Rep. Ron Lewis (R) announced his retirement from this strongly conservative west-central Kentucky district, few national political observers paid much attention. But, Democrats have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the race and polling suggests state Sens. Brett Guthrie (R) and David Boswell (D) are in a dead heat. If Democrats win this district, it is going to be a VERY long night for House Republicans.

This all seems somewhat fitting, given the role 14 years ago of the Kentucky 2nd when Lewis was first elected to fill the seat vacated by the long-serving Democrat William Natcher.

Lewis’s first win in the conservative-leaning district that year is considered as one of the first of the “Republican Revolution” that year that saw the GOP with major gains in Congress.

Politico.com is the latest to call the KY 2nd a bellweather – here’s the take from reporter John Kraushaar – 

This rural western Kentucky seat is the most Republican in the Bluegrass State, but Democrats nominated a socially conservative candidate who fits the district well. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s operation has been strong in this part of the state, and could help Guthrie. If Guthrie loses, expect a long night for Republicans.

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