Democratic candidate Ken Lucas looked like he would rather be any place other than Kentucky's public television studios Monday night as he debated freshman Republican Rep. Geoff Davis. A moderate conservative, Lucas was not going deep into the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) liberal playbook that is intended to nationalize midterm Congressional elections.Lucas had been coaxed out of political retirement at age 73 to run for the northern Kentucky congressional seat he held three terms. That put Davis, a conservative 25 years Lucas's junior and highly regarded among House Republicans, on the endangered list, trailing in early polls. But Lucas showed Monday night this has not been a happy campaign for him. While Democratic candidates nationwide pillory George W. Bush, Lucas did not mention the president's name and appeared uncomfortable with the DCCC attack litany.Democrats must win seats like this to achieve a substantial working majority in the House. But Republicans have limited the election in Kentucky's 4th congressional district to a "choice" between two candidates instead of a "referendum" on an unpopular Republican president and Congress. That demonstrates that the struggle for Congress is not really a national election but is about 50 hotly contested local ones.
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