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Kentucky Primary Features A 'Proxy Showdown' Between Kentucky Senators

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The presidential escapade continues to draw most of the media's attention these days, but there are actually some interesting downticket primaries to watch in Arkansas and Kentucky Tuesday night. Over at the Plum Line, Jonathan Bernstein provides the essential warm-up, and points to a downticket primary in Kentucky that serves as a "proxy" for a power battle between Kentucky's two senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul:

National Journal’s Scott Bland tells us to watch the Republican primary in Kentucky 4 for a proxy McConnell/Paul showdown, with the winner getting a safe GOP seat, and both primaries in Arkansas 4, which has an open seat that will most likely be a Republican pickup. Also, in Arkansas 1, the Democrats may have a chance for a serious November challenge to incumbent Republican Rick Crawford, depending on today’s results. These contests will offer real results, with real consequences, even though the national media prefer to obsess about the presidential race -- despite the probability that nothing happening right now in that campaign will make any difference at all in November.

Bernstein also advises you keep your eye on the upcoming David Dewhurst/Ted Cruz tilt in the GOP primary for the Texas Senate seat. There's a decent chance that we'll soon be adding the GOP primary for the Arizona Senate seat to the watchlist as well. Here's the latest on that from Public Policy Polling:

Republican Senate primaries not going the way they're expected to has become the new norm over the last two election cycles, and there are indications Arizona could be the next state with some upset potential. PPP's newest poll finds that Wil Cardon has cut 27 points off of Jeff Flake's lead over the last three months. Flake still has a solid advantage of 22 points, 42-20, but it's a far cry from the 49 point lead he had at 56-7 when PPP surveyed the state in February.

Cardon's early advertising appears to be having an impact. His name recognition has nearly doubled from 17% to 35% and the numbers suggest that as he continues to become better known he may pull even closer to Flake- among voters who have an opinion about Cardon, whether it's a positive or negative one, he trails only 45-35.

More here.

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