FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Democrat Jack Conway touted his support
for gun rights and coal on Thursday, while Republican Rand Paul
said Kentucky can signal that President Barack Obama is leading the
country "down the wrong path" as the U.S. Senate candidates vied
for conservative support Thursday.
Conway complained that special-interest money from Republican
allies have distorted his record in TV ads, but said he'll get his
message across to conservative Democrats that he's a "different
kind of Democrat."
"I'm A-rated by the NRA, and have probably been the strongest
supporter of Second Amendment rights of any Democratic attorney
general in the country," Conway told reporters following a rally
at state Democratic headquarters in Frankfort.
Conway, the state's attorney general, stressed his support for
Kentucky's coal industry. He said he opposes cap-and-trade
legislation that would set limits on carbon dioxide pollution but
allow companies to pollute more by paying for it and buying
pollution credits from cleaner companies.
"Cap and trade is dead, but I filed an action against the EPA
so they couldn't do administratively what the Congress couldn't
do," Conway said during a stop in Shelbyville earlier in the day.
Paul staunchly opposes cap-and-trade.
During brief remarks in the Republican-leaning town of Columbia,
Paul didn't once mention Conway, opting instead to focus on his
speech on Obama, as has been his habit.
"There is a big movement afoot in our country that says the
president is taking the country down the wrong path," Paul said.
"On Tuesday, you don't get to unelect him yet, but you do get to
send a message that we in Kentucky are unhappy with what he's doing
to the country."
Paul also began wrapping up his TV advertising campaign on a
positive note Thursday with smiling images of the Bowling Green eye
surgeon interacting with his family and patients. Paul's wife,
Kelley, stars in the final spot, talking about his "boundless
energy" in raising their sons and in caring for his patients.
The commercial is in stark contrast to the negative ads that
have been airing around the clock in Kentucky in recent weeks from
Paul, Conway and numerous outside political groups.
Paul, leading in the polls, predicted Thursday that he is
"going to win big." Conway insists the race is close.
Democrats hold a 3-to-2 voter registration advantage in
Kentucky, but Republicans have tended to dominate the state's
federal elections with the help of conservative Democrats who cross
Conway received a boost Thursday from a lineup of top
establishment Kentucky Democrats including Gov. Steve Beshear,
former Sen. Wendell Ford and state Auditor Crit Luallen during a
rally at the party's state headquarters.
Luallen said there's no "enthusiasm gap" for Kentucky
Democrats. U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, in his own tough campaign
against GOP challenger Andy Barr, predicted that "we're going to
buck the national trend and we're going to show 'em that the
Democratic Party is alive and well" in Kentucky.
Paul has repeatedly slammed Conway for supporting Obama
initiatives such as the health-care overhaul.
Conway told reporters in Shelbyville that there are times when
he's disagreed with Obama.
Conway said he favors extending all the Bush-era tax cuts for
individuals, while Obama and Democratic congressional leaders favor
prolonging the tax cuts for the middle class but not top earners.
He said he disagreed with Obama on the troop surge in
Afghanistan and on bringing terror suspects to New York City to
Conway was to attend an evening labor rally with United Mine
Workers of America president Cecil Roberts in Louisville.
Paul, and Conway are vying for the seat held by retiring U.S.
Sen. Jim Bunning.
The latest polls show Republican Rand Paul way out ahead of Jack Conway just days before the election.
Paul holds a 13 point lead in the latest poll released by Public Policy Polling.
He is up seven points in both the CNN-Times Poll and the Fox News Poll.
Conway campaign: http://www.jackconway.org/
Paul campaign: http://www.randpaul2010.com/
Associated Press Writer Roger Alford contributed to this report
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)