Thursday's story by congressional reporter Carl Hulse located yet another struggling Republican, this time Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "A Senate Leader's Pork-Barrel Punch" tracked McConnell in his tough fight for re-election. In a change of emphasis for the conservative Republican, McConnell is now boasting of how much federal largesse has come to his state under his leadership.
Mr. McConnell remains favored to win re-election, but polls show the economic turmoil has created an unexpected opportunity for Mr. Lunsford, who was unsuccessful in two campaigns for governor of Kentucky. Democrats would sorely like to knock off the man they see as a main roadblock in the Senate.
Before the Times gets too enthusiastic about a McConnell loss, it should remember the way things turned out five years ago, the last time the paper led the cheers for a Kentucky Democrat. In November 2003, reporter James Dao used similar terminology when he cheered on the Democrat:
....if [then-state Attorney General Ben] Chandler, considered the underdog, can ride voters' anxieties about unemployment to victory, it could give the Democrats momentum in their seemingly uphill quest to unseat the president, Democrats and political analysts assert.
Republican Ernie Fletcher beat Chandler by 10 points that November.