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Rand Paul Casts Ballot, Still Looks Poised For Victory In Kentucky

Sara Ramsey, Kristen Villarreal |
November 2, 2010 | 12:47 p.m. PDT

Staff Writers

As predicted, Republican Rand Paul will most likely win Kentucky's Senate race Tuesday night.

Polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday with heavy traffic around the Lexington poll and surrounding counties. 

As the Wall Street Journal reported:

“Holding his wife Kelley's hand and walking with his son Robert, 11 years old, Mr. Paul arrived at an elementary school here in his hometown [Bowling Green, Ky.] at about 9:30 a.m. central time to cast his vote.

"There is a tea-party tidal wave coming to Washington," he said to reporters after emerging from the polling station. He described the movement as "a bunch of people who are more concerned about the [national] debt than anything else."

The spokesman for the secretary of state's office warned of long lines at poll locations that use electronic ballots. Kentucky Voters in more than 45 of the state's 120 counties used the digital voting system for the first time Tuesday.

Early morning voters went in and out of polls with ease, but several poll locations were experiencing technical difficulties. In Fayette County several polls had to be replaced after malfunctions and in Meadowthorpe both machines had to be replaced delaying voting for about 45 minutes. 

The Kentucky election fraud hotline received 54 calls of complaints from 29 counties by 9:30 a.m., a lot fewer than the 272 complaints from the 2008 general election day. Most were concerning malfunctioning machines, but one was an allegation of vote-buying. 

According to the New York Times early Tuesday, Paul had a 99.7 percent chance of winning the seat and Democrat Jack Conway had a .3 percent chance. 

Conway and Paul saw months of repeated tightening and widening of the poll average with Paul in the lead the entire time, according to Real Clear Politics.

Paul used Tea Party support to win the GOP nomination in the spring and gained a lead over Conway in the first weeks of campaigning. 

Both Paul and Conway were involved in controversies over the last few months.

Paul was criticized in late May for expressing his concern with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that  made segregation and discrimination in public places illegal. He described his concern on the Rachel Maddow Show where he said he disagreed with the part allowing the government to tell business owners what they can or cannot do. 

Conway was hopeful for a lead in the polls in early October with the release of an ad that focused on Paul's years at Baylor University, in which he tied up a female friend and told her to worship a god they called "Aqua Buddha". Though there was a clear tightening of poll numbers after the ad's release, Paul lead the polls by as much as 10 percent just days before Tuesday's election.

These controversies were followed by what Talking Points Memo calls the 'nastiest debate of 2010'.The debate was filled with slander and low blows and ended with Paul's refusal to shake Conway's hand. 

The most recent controversy took place a week before election night when a Rand Paul supporter and a major donor to the Kentucky GOP campaign was videotaped stepping on a woman's head pinning her face to the concrete.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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