"New Lunsford spin doesn't spin true
"Saturday was too dreary and cool for comfort on the golf course. So, I wandered into downtown Frankfort to see what kind of response Democratic senatorial candidate Bruce Lunsford got at a meet-and-greet scheduled to coincide with the Franklin County Democrats' county convention. The turnout was decent, but the more interesting thing to me was a new spin the Lunsford camp was putting on his endorsement of Republican Ernie Fletcher in his 2003 gubernatorial against Democrat Ben Chandler.
"This spin holds that the endorsement can be a positive force for Lunsford in the U.S. Senate race by virtue of appealing to Republicans who hold a grudge against incumbent Minority Floor Leader Mitch McConnell for his abandonment of Fletcher during the BlackBerry Jam hiring scandal that resulted in Fletcher's indictment. This spin goes on to hold that Lunsford's ability to exploit R disenchantment with McConnell will be particularly important in Western Kentucky, where the Lunsford folks expect the race to be decided.
"Hello! Let me count the ways this spin fails the reason test, starting with the fact that Lunsford still has to win the Democratic primary before he can exploit any issue against McConnell. Sure, he's the prohibitive primary favorite. But there is much to be said about not tempting karma by counting the eggs before the chicks emerge.
"But assuming Lunsford does meet McConnell in the fall, there is still a couple of problems with this positive spin on the Fletcher endorsement. First, the R's remain in the minority in Kentucky. So, exploiting the antipathy a minority of R's feel toward McConnell probably won't offset the antipathy a minority (or even a majority) of D's remain pissed at Lunsford for dissing his party's candidate in 2003.
"Second, appealing to disenchanted R's isn't going to win Western Kentucky, where all R's (disenchanted or otherwise) are outnumbered by about a 2-1 margin by D's. And conservative Western Kentucky D's, who will determine the outcome of the Senate race in that region, aren't likely to be Fletcher fanatics who will take their wrath out on McConnell. On the contrary, their reason for crossing party lines to vote R has far more to do with the policy positions they share with McConnell than with any allegiance to Ernie Fletcher."