Because Bruce Lunsford says he’s not going to spend his millions on the U.S. Senate race. That’s what he says, anyway.
Also unlike Lunsford’s past races, he is unlikely to pump millions of dollars into his own campaign. He spent $8 million in 2003 — a race against Chandler that got so contentious that Lunsford dropped out four days before the election. Last year, he dished out roughly $6 million more.
But the U.S. Senate race has a threshold of $560,000 in the general election by which a “millionaire’s amendment” would kick in and allow the opponent to raise three to six times the $2,300 maximum contribution for an individual.
Wasn’t Lunsford’s money the reason the establishment pressured him to get into the race? Just wondering. Because it’s the only thing Steve Beshear, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Jennifer Moore, Nathan Smith and others have used in their ardent behind-the-scenes support of his candidacy. So what gives?
It certainly can’t be anything but money and established name I.D. If for no other reason than because Bruce brings with him a tremendous amount of baggage. (Fendi and Prada bags, but baggage nonetheless. A lady’s gotta look her best, you know.)
Could name I.D. be as strong as the DSCC has pressured many into believing? We’re not certain. But four (yes, four unconnected individuals) reliable sources have shared with us similar name I.D./polling information about the three front-runners in the race. Three out of the four provided us with the following poll results:
Poll results and more after the jump…
- Lunsford 44%
- Horne 12%
- Fischer 4%
Numbers that couldn’t be much more than name I.D. this early in the game. Numbers that are sure to change as days go by. But numbers that would still make anyone pay attention.
Is that it? Just name I.D.? Doubtful, because we’re hearing from sources both within the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the high-level halls of Frankfort that Washington has pressured the Frankfort establishment into backing Lunsford. Many going so far as to say that the DSCC wouldn’t get involved in Kentucky in 2008 if the nominee turns out to be Greg Fischer or Andrew Horne. This could be the case because threats of that calibre most definitely get the blood pumping and the fear flowing.
Unfortunately, those threats are a little empty. Because, let’s get real here, who in their right mind believes the DSCC wouldn’t get involved in a race regardless of the nominee if Mitch McConnnell turned out to be weak or if the nominee (Horne or Fischer) ended up raising four or five million dollars? They’d have to get involved or there’d be an uprising across the country.
Seriously. What is it? Why are so many people backing Bruce Lunsford? Is he really the guy to knock Mitch McConnell off his perch? He’s not the A-1 candidate some are trying to making him out to be. If you’ll recall, top-tier prospective candidates Auditor Crit Luallen and Rep. Ben Chandler both turned down the chance to take on McConnell. There’s absolutely nothing to suggest Lunsford is in the same category politically and everything leads us to believe the Democratic Party is suffering as a result.
Why are Reps. John Yarmuth and Ben Chandler the only two prominent Democrats to avoid the sticky situation we’ve gotten ourselves into? They’re the only two who have lobbied behind the scenes against self-funders. We’re just speculating and digging here, obviously, and are curious about public opinion and observation of political events the past few days.
We’re reluctant to make predictions at this point but prospects for November aren’t looking too good for Democrats and the establishment’s Democratic Party as they relate to the U.S. Senate race.
Would love to know what you think via comment or confidential email.