What they're saying: D.C. publications reflect tightening race in Ky. 6th Congressional Dist.

10/19/2012 03:51 PM

Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District race — by far the biggest race in the Bluegrass state this fall — it tightening, according to Washington, D.C., political observers.

It’s either a toss up, a toss-up/tilt Democrat, or leaning toward Democrats but still among the top 60 races in the nation. No matter how it’s parsed, pundits are bracing for a barn-burner in Central Kentucky.

On Friday, The Washington Post’s The Fix blog ranked the race 46th out of its top 60 U.S. House races most likely to flip from one party’s control to the other. (Two North Carolina districts being vacated by retiring Democrats are the top two races because they are almost certain to go to Republicans).

Here’s what the piece says about the Chandler-Barr race:

46. KY-6 (D): A recent NRCC poll showed Republican Andy Barr within range of Rep. Ben Chandler (D), but the incumbent is still the frontrunner in this rematch of 2010.

The Post’s race tracker still rates the district as “lean Democrat.”

The Rothenberg Political Report has bumped the race up another notch to the “toss up/tilt Democrat” category along with 11 others. That’s the second most competitive category.

And Barr’s campaign issued a press release Friday morning touting that the Cook Political Report had moved the race into the “toss up” category. (The Cook Report requires a subscription, so we just have the text).

The Cook Political Report has moved its rating of the Sixth Congressional District race from “Leans Democrat” to “Tossup.” Following is that publication’s rationale for the change:

“KY-06: Ben Chandler (D) – East central: Lexington, Frankfort
Toss Up. Redistricting was supposed to give Chandler more breathing room after his 647-vote victory over GOP attorney Andy Barr in 2012, but Chandler’s main opponent this year seems to be President Obama. Republicans say Chandler made a strategic mistake by attacking a coal executive who appeared as a miner in one of Barr’s ads, and now even Democrats acknowledge the race has headed in the wrong direction. Republicans love the trend line of their numbers here, and we’re likely headed for another photo finish in Lexington.”


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