Fri February 7, 2014
Larry Sabato Predicted Kentucky Senate Race Would Get Attention, Now Says It's Undeserved
In the 2014 election cycle is Kentucky's U.S. Senate race a top contest or an over-hyped media circus?
According to political guru Larry Sabato, it's both.
In a piece for Politico Magazine this month, Sabato, who is director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, listed the campaign for Republican Senator Mitch McConnell's seat as one of the "six most overrated" races this year.
Right now, Kentucky undoubtedly is the “most watched” Senate race in the country. But does it deserve all that loving attention? Almost certainly not.
The odds of McConnell, even with his weak approval ratings, losing either the primary or general election are not impressive. In the primary, McConnell has a gigantic money advantage and sizable polling edge over Bevin, and for all the hype surrounding the “Establishment vs. Tea Party” narrative in Republican primaries, we need to be mindful of history.
Sabato makes the case that McConnell's leadership position puts history on his side for re-election, but adds the media is giving McConnell's challenge from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and Republican primary opponent Matt Bevin too much attention.
Six months ago during the Fancy Farm picnic, however, Sabato told Kentucky Education Television the Senate race was the top campaign for observers in the country to watch.
"Kentucky has 2014's headline race," he said. "Everybody in the nation who cares about politics will be watching"