Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Bruce Lunsford has notified Centre College that he will take part in a proposed live televised debate in Danville. Centre proposes the event for next month at the Norton Center for Performing Arts, the site of the 2000 U.S. Vice Presidential debate and last year's most heavily viewed debate in the Kentucky governor's race.
Centre awaits a response from incumbent U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell... who has indicated his willingness to take part in a number of debates and who handles himself well even on nationally televised pressure cooker shows. The Centre debate should be classy and informative to a large audience. WKYT plans to partner with its sister stations WYMT in Hazard, WSAZ in Ashland/Huntington and WBKO in Bowling Green, along with a Louisville station to give the event maximum exposure.
Centre knows how to organize and handle a civic debate that puts the candidates in a positive light and gets the issues on the table. We're certainly hoping this all works out.
Candidates In The Region... But Passing Us Over
For the 14th time since he became the obvious Republican nominee for President, John McCain is heading back to Ohio. This time he's in Lebanon and his running mate, Sarah Palin is with him.
Lebanon is North of Cincinnati, about 40 miles from the Kentucky border.
Democrat Barack Obama is campaigning in Dayton, Ohio... it's his 7th trip to the Buckeye State since Hillary Clinton stepped aside. He's speaking at a high school. Michele Obama is even closer, speaking to Baptists who are meeting in Cincinnati.
The candidates have spent considerable time in states like Ohio, Missouri, Virginia and West Virginia which touch Kentucky's borders... but, so far, nobody wants to venture to the Commonwealth. The reason? Kentucky is seen as a non-competitive state and only has 8 electoral votes. Tennessee, though a bit richer in electoral votes, has the same issue. Polls show the race one sided there and therefore, not on the hot list for campaigning.
Both sides indicate visits are more likely if the polls tighten here. Some Kentucky Democrats admit to being somewhat frustrated that the only way for Obama to improve his standing in Kentucky is to come here and become better known. But the national campaign knows it has to focus on states with the best chance of winning. And, after demonstrating her popularity in Kentucky in the May primary, Hillary Clinton is coming back to the Bluegrass State to thank voters for their support and push for Obama.
Most Republicans express confidence in McCain being able to carry Kentucky. They usually also point out that Kentucky is a reliable "bell weather" state that has gone with the winner in the last eleven straight presidential contests.
WKYT 27 NEWSFIRST