Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is trying to displace Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who was first elected in 1984. In Georgia, Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, is vying with Republican David Perdue over a seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
McConnell campaigned against President Obama, especially in rural areas, in a state where the president fared poorly in the 2008 and 2012 elections and even less so in current polls. His ads say a vote for Grimes is a vote for Obama's policies. While Grimes is expected to do well in Louisville and Lexington—cites in which Obama won the popular vote—Barron says the outcome will be decided in the rural areas, which have decidedly supported Republicans in previous elections.
Keith McCants, who runs the Peanut Politics blog, "said Nunn has two tasks in wooing rural voters," Barron writes. "First, she must motivate 'Obamacrats,' the rural black voters in the 1st, 2nd and 8th Congressional Districts who don't come out to midterm elections like they do when Obama's name is on the ballot. Second, McCants says Nunn needs independents and voters 55 and older to break her way. He told Barron, "She needs to talk about issues that resonate with rural areas (such as her religious affiliation) That's something Democrats haven't done a lot." (Read more)