Cook Report Upgrades KY-02 House Race

The Cook Political Report has upgraded the KY-02 U.S. House race between David Boswell (D) and Brett Guthrie (R) from Solid Republican to Likely Republican.

From Cook:

KY-02 OPEN (Lewis) Solid Republican to Likely Republican

House Editor David Wasserman releases the latest batch of race rating changes. While it’s not likely that a majority of the races moved from “Solid” to “Likely” Republican will become competitive by November, the poor national climate for the GOP and the DCCC’s unprecedented financial edge makes even very difficult districts for Democrats worth keeping tabs on. And be sure to look for district-by-district updates in this month’s competitive race rundowns.

Times are a changin’, kids.

Felner’s Expenditures in RI Now Being Reviewed

The Neverending Story of Felner: Take XVII

According to Nancy Rodriguez of the Courier-Journal (which has yet to cite us, even though we offered to help the paper out with the story well before I decided to break it myself), The University of Rhode Island is now reviewing expenditures made by Robert Felner while he was employed there (1996-2003).

The federal investigation into allegations of mishandled funds at the University of Louisville has led another university to review grant expenditures made by the dean at the center of the investigation.


Felner was the director of URI’s School of Education until he left in 2003 to become U of L’s education dean, although he continued to serve on URI’s National Center on Public Education and Social Policy until 2006.

Scott C. Cox, Felner’s attorney, saw URI’s review as standard.

“I just think when accusations are made like this it would be normal for his prior employer to look at their records,” he said in an interview yesterday.

Based on traffic statistics for Page One today alone, we’re pretty sure everybody under the sun is reviewing anything ever touched by anyone if it involves a grant. Thousands upon thousands of visits from UofL, URI, UW-Parkside, Yale, every media outlet in the country.

Stay tuned.

OAG Announces Post-Election Audit Counties

Attorney General Jack Conway just announced the six counties chosen to undergo post-election audits. The counties, selected in a random drawing this morning, will be the target of independent inquiries that will examine potential “potential irregularities that may have occurred during the primary election.”

Conway’s office also released this fancy picture of him from this A.M.

The counties drawn this morning are:

  • Butler
  • Calloway
  • Letcher
  • Perry
  • Trimble
  • Webster

Polling & All That for Beshear, McConnell

Mark Hebert reports that Governor Steve Beshear’s approval rating has improved by 6 points in the past month. Survey USA says 44% of Kentuckians approve of Beshear’s job while 50% disapprove. That’s up from 38-54 in April.

The survey shows a majority of men approve of Beshear’s work (50%-46%) while a majority of women do not (39%-53%). And Beshear is still suffering the pain of that state senate seat campaign and loss in eastern Kentucky.

On the U.S. Senate front, Hebert reports that Senator Mitch McConnell’s approval rating jumped 11 points. 57% approve of the job McConnell is doing and 37% disapprove.

The breakdown on McConnell’s Survey USA job approval numbers shows his biggest support coming from eastern Kentucky (62%-32%) and among men (65%-33%). McConnell is even polling fairly well among democrats (45%-50%) and African-Americans (57%-40%).

Lunsford Victory Party Live (& Maybe Hillz)

That’s right, kids. We’re live at Bruce Lunsford’s election night festivities and we may venture over to the Clinton event if we can stomach it.

Hopefully this is the end of what could be called an absolutely embarrassing U.S. Senate primary. And hopefully all Democrats will come together tonight/tomorrow in support of the eventual nominee… who happens to be Bruce Lunsford.

6:01: Not too many people here yet. They’re all probably still outside with the underwhelming Clinton crowd that stretches for almost a quarter of a block. Good food, though. AND ALCOHOL.

Peep the rest of the boring crap and/or live blogging after the jump…

Read moreLunsford Victory Party Live (& Maybe Hillz)

Fischer Drops $510K, Allegedly Raises $500K

In a press release today Greg Fischer’s U.S. Senate campaign said he gave his campaign (loaned?) $510,000 and only raised $500,000 during the first quarter of 2008. The campaign has long touted that it will have enough money be successful by doing the following:

  • Effectively build name I.D. up from the margin of error where it currently sits (a minimum of a 36 point jump in 5-6 weeks)
  • Spread a positive message and platform
  • Attack Bruce Lunsford often and deeply enough to politically wound him
  • Pay all campaign staff, consultants, media buyers and television stations

All great ambitions, but they’re just that– ambition. Since the campaign has only taken in a million dollars, there’s just about nothing it can do but begin working on an exit strategy. Remember the Miller-Maze campaign? Same amount of cash, same amount of time, same name I.D. Remember Steve Henry? He allegedly gave his campaign $500k (he never proved it and his media buyer was suspicious) to do what Fischer is hoping to do and where’d it get him?

Let’s break things down:

Fischer has $1 million. Let’s say he only has five campaign staffers (it’s a U.S. Senate race, that’s a super-low estimate) who only get paid $5,000 per month. That’s $25K/mo for the past 4 months. $100K spent. $900K remaining. Media strategy and production is going to easily be $50K for so-so quality and value. $850K remaining. A media buyer is going to take a 15% or so commission at minimum so that’s $130K. $720K remaining for actual airtime.

There are at least 9 media markets that need to be absolutely saturated beginning a few weeks ago in order to develop name I.D. and discredit an opponent. Let’s be generous and say he actually has $720K on-hand to buy ads. Television, radio, print, direct mail. You do the math. How effective can the campaign be at accomplishing what they hope to accomplish?

Love the truth or hate the truth, it’s an impossibility. There’s no way to battle an opponent with unlimited funds who can strike back in each and every way at a moment’s notice. If it were possible, Andrew Horne (who raised nearly $100k in just a couple weeks’ time) would still be in the race.

More on the SurveyUSA Poll Results

Some are having difficulty correctly comprehending the cross tabs of the latest senate poll. Here’s the skinny on the ‘Change Your Mind’ section – Could Change / Mind Made columns. A few folks seem to think the data indicate 38% of respondents could change their minds when it comes to voting for Bruce Lunsford and that 43% already have their minds made up.

In actuality, 24% of likely voters who responded say they could change their mind (see the bottom of the tabs) and a whopping 74% have their mind made up. Of the 24% who could change their mind, 38% are currently with Lunsford. Of the 74% who have their minds made up, 43% are with Lunsford.

Just wanted to break those points down.