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September 23, 2008

Dems eye conservative Kentucky district

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is planning to go up with a substantial ad buy in retiring Rep. Ron Lewis' (R-Ky.) district, a GOP stronghold where President Bush won 65 percent of the vote in 2004.

Barack Obama isn't expected to do much better in the largely rural district in this year's presidential election. And the Democratic nominee, state senator David Boswell, has been significantly outraised by his GOP opponent, and reported only $45,000 in his campaign account at the end of June.

But Democrats evidently believe they have a chance to flip this seat, reserving about $840,000 in advertising time.

Per the Rothenberg Political Report's Nathan Gonzales:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is exercising its financial muscle with television ads on behalf of a cash-strapped candidate in Kentucky’s 2nd district.

State Sen. David Boswell (D) has a similar political profile to southern Reps. Don Cazayoux (D-La.) and Travis Childers (D-Miss.), who were elected earlier this year in special elections. The main problem is that Boswell’s initial fundraising was startlingly low.

Two public polls showed Boswell leading the race, including a June 27-28 SurveyUSA poll that had the Democrat up 47 percent to 44 percent and Boswell’s own poll, conducted Aug. 23-25 by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, which had him ahead 41 percent to 33 percent.

But Boswell’s lead was considered soft by race observers because he is running for an open seat in a district that President Bush won by 31 points in 2004 and because he faced a significant cash disadvantage to his opponent, state Sen. Brett Guthrie (R).