McConnell wins fifth Senate term

Published 9:59 pm Tuesday, November 4, 2008

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has won a fifth term, persuading Kentucky voters to stick with his seniority in fending off a strong challenge from Democratic businessman Bruce Lunsford.

McConnell stressed his ability to deliver loads of federal money for the Bluegrass state, while Lunsford called for a new course in a time of a rocky economy.

With 84 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, McConnell had 776,406 votes or 52 percent, compared with 714,203 votes or 48 percent for Lunsford.

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McConnell mainly kept to a tight campaign script, saying Kentucky has profited from his seniority. He said Lunsford would be a Senate backbencher who wouldn’t deliver for the state.

Lunsford linked McConnell to President Bush’s handling of the economy as he tried to tap into voter anxieties about jobs, health care and retirement plans.