Sabato's Crystal Ball

Kentucky (06) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans D

Democratic candidate: Ben Chandler, incumbent senator

Republican candidate: Andy Barr, attorney

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Update: October 14, 2010

Republican challenger Andy Barr is closing in on Democrat Ben Chandler. The district looks ripe for a takeover, with a relatively new Democratic congressman forced onto the defensive in a district that gave Obama just 43% of the vote in 2008. The DCCC has begun running tough ads on Barr, a sign of their concern but also a test for the first-time GOP candidate. Barr’s camp touts a poll from early October showing him in the lead by the narrowest of margins, but Chandler’s side counters that they are still in front. In the end, the question is moot, as all that matters is who leads three weeks from now, with plenty of twists and turns in store. Switches from Leans Democratic to Toss-up.

Update: October 6, 2010

Chandler came to office in Kentucky in 2004 despite a sweeping victory for incumbent President George Bush across the state. Republicans held strong again in the Presidential election against in 2008 with McCain defeating Obama in Kentucky’s sixth district by a comfortable margin. Ben Chandler won his first term in Congress following a special election in 2004. The previous Congressman defeated Chandler in the gubernatorial election and then resigned his seat to assume his new position, giving Chandler a second chance at electoral glory.

Chandler voted against the health care legislation that has been dominating Congress for the past few months. Though he is a known Blue Dog Democrat, his action has earned him the ire of his liberal democratic constituents. Chandler’s concerns about the legislation focused on “seniors, rural hospitals, and the overall cost to taxpayers.”

Chandler’s Republican opponent in November is Andy Barr. He is the clear frontrunner heading into Kentucky’s May 18 primary. Barr has several fundraising events coming up and appears poised to widen his already substantial lead in campaign receipts.

Chandler has a strong advantage in fundraising, taking in almost twice as much as his closest opposition in receipts as of the last quarter of 2009. Despite Chandler’s position on health care, his advantage in fundraising and status at the incumbent make Kentucky’s 6th District Leans Democrat.