Here's a fun fact about Rand Paul: our final poll before the primary last weekend found that there were more Kentucky Republicans who thought he was too liberal (17%) than that he was too conservative (12%). He seems to be doing his best to get those numbers turned around.
When we polled the general election in Kentucky earlier this month we found Paul leading Jack Conway just 41-40. Conway was actually winning 15% of the Republican vote against Paul, which is a pretty unusual level of crossover support for a Democrat this year. The only reason Conway didn't lead Paul is that he was getting just 63% of the Democratic vote to 21% for Paul and with 16% undecided. That's not particularly unusual- many of the registered Democrats in Kentucky are conservative and tend to vote for the GOP in national elections. But this contest will be an interesting test of just how far those Democrats are willing to go in voting for a Republican.
I expect this to be a very competitive race. But I also remember how little Bob McDonnell ended up being affected by some of the crazy stuff in his thesis last year. It's hard to say how Kentucky voters will react to all this.