538 Looks At The KY Senate Race

Stats wizard Nate Silver at 538.com has weighed in on Senator Jim Bunning’s chances for re-election now that Secretary of State Trey Grayson has formed an exploratory committee. From Silver:

Kentucky, while being a somewhat conservative state, is also still a rather Democratic state, at least in terms of is voters’ declared party preferences. Gallup gives Democrats a 13-point party identification advantage in Kentucky (counting “leaners”), which places it roughly in the middle of the pack nationally. No, Kentucky is not going to vote for certain types of Democrats — particularly liberal, northern Democrats named “Barack Obama” who gave the state the cold shoulder. But it elects plenty of moderate-to-conservative Democrats to statewide and national offices, like its Governor Steve Beshear, as well as [Lt. Governor] Mongiardo, [Attorney General] Conway and [Congressman] Chandler. Democrats also have a 65-35 advantage in the Kentucky State House, although Republicans control the State Senate.

Do you think Silver’s analysis holds up? Will Conway or Mongiardo’s party affiliation help them beat Grayson if Bunning drops out, or does Grayson appeal to the so-called leaners? Do you vote along party lines for state and local elections?