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Chuck Todd

Bill sits down with Chuck Todd to discuss the U.S. Senate race.
Season 9 Episode 28 Length 28:01 Premiere: 08/02/14

Chuck Todd Digs into Kentucky Politics

NBC News political analyst—and avowed political junkie—Chuck Todd smiles when he says Kentucky is the place to be over the next few years. Coming up are what’s likely to be a $100 million race for U.S. Senate this fall, one of only two open gubernatorial contests in 2015, and a leading Republican contender for president in 2016.

Todd discussed each of these contests with KET’s Bill Goodman on this weekend’s One to One.

U.S. Senate Campaign
The battle between Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, is one of the most closely watched races in the nation this year. Todd says record-low approval ratings for Congress make it harder for McConnell to play up his role as incumbent and his position of seniority in the Senate.

“What can Mitch McConnell claim that he has delivered in the last six years and…what did you use your political power to do?” Todd wonders. “I think it’s a trickier thing for him to deal with this time than it has been previous times.”

With the incumbent McConnell likely to capture a majority of votes in the coal-producing regions of the state, Todd outlines areas where he think Grimes must do well to remain competitive.

Another key demographic in the race, according to Todd, is women between 40 and 55 years old. In the latest Bluegrass Poll, Grimes had only a 1-point lead among female voters, which is down from a double-digit lead she held in February. Todd questions how effective arguments for electing a woman senator or protecting reproductive rights can be among the state’s female voters.

Kentucky’s Other Senator
Todd calls Rand Paul the closest thing the GOP has to a front-runner for the 2016 presidential campaign. He says Paul is a very good politician who polls well, engages effectively with the media, and has benefited from the increasing profile of other potential Tea Party challengers. For example, Todd says the rise of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has been the best thing to happen to Paul because Cruz makes Paul look like a moderate.

Can Paul sustain his momentum through the rest of this year and next? Todd says Paul has yet to experience a political setback, much less a multimillion dollar barrage of negative TV ads from the more hawkish wing of the GOP.

“Rand Paul has never had to overcome anything, so he may think everything is overcome-able and he may not take a challenge as seriously as he needs to,” Todd explains. “If he survives the onslaught, it may be hard to stop him from the nomination.”

2015 Gubernatorial Race
Only three states will elect governors next year, and Kentucky and Louisiana don’t have incumbents running for re-election. On the right, Todd wonders why Republicans in the commonwealth haven’t been able to “crack the gubernatorial code,” while on the left, he says state Attorney General Jack Conway could be among the Democratic Party’s up-and-coming centrists.

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Season 9 Episodes

30th Celebration of Leadership Kentucky

S9 E47 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 12/14/14

Peter Van Buren and Kris Kimel

S9 E44 Length 28:16 Premiere Date 11/27/14

Roger McNeil and Ben Malphrus

S9 E43 Length 28:31 Premiere Date 11/18/14

John Thelin

S9 E42 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 11/11/14

Congressman John Yarmuth

S9 E36 Length 28:27 Premiere Date 10/01/14

Ron Leach

S9 E35 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 09/23/14

Jack Conway

S9 E34 Length 28:31 Premiere Date 09/13/14

Hal Heiner

S9 E33 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 09/06/14

Mike Duncan

S9 E31 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 08/23/14

Steve Beshear and Hal Rogers

S9 E30 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 08/16/14

Sen. Rand Paul

S9 E29 Length 27:01 Premiere Date 08/09/14

Chuck Todd

S9 E28 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 08/02/14

Naomi Judd

S9 E27 Length 28:23 Premiere Date 07/26/14

Jason Howard

S9 E26 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 07/19/14

Roy Hoffman

S9 E25 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 07/12/14

Karen Mann

S9 E24 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 07/05/14

Dr. Shawn C. Jones

S9 E23 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 06/27/14

Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen

S9 E22 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 06/21/14

Stephen Chung

S9 E21 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 06/14/14

Jean Cochran

S9 E20 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 06/07/14

Bob Marino

S9 E19 Length 26:17 Premiere Date 05/31/14

Diane Ravitch

S9 E18 Length 28:16 Premiere Date 05/24/14

Al Cross - 2014 election primary

S9 E17 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 05/17/14

Owsley Brown III

S9 E16 Length 28:22 Premiere Date 05/10/14

Eugenia Toma

S9 E15 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 05/03/14

Dr. Wayne Andrews

S9 E14 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 04/26/14

Dr. Otto Kaak

S9 E13 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 04/19/14

Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer

S9 E12 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 04/12/14

John Williams

S9 E11 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 04/05/14

Jimmy Rose

S9 E10 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 03/29/14

Dan Gediman

S9 E9 Length 26:36 Premiere Date 03/22/14

James Hurley

S9 E8 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 02/23/14

Dreama Gentry

S9 E7 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 02/16/14

Geoffrey Mearns, president of Northern Kentucky University

S9 E6 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 02/09/14

Terry Brooks, Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates

S9 E5 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 02/02/14

Ben Chandler, Former Congressman

S9 E4 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/26/14

Dr. Christine Riordan

S9 E3 Length 27:31 Premiere Date 01/19/14

Governor Steve Beshear, January 5, 2014

S9 E1 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/05/14

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