In it, but not of it. TPM DC
Democrats and Republicans have said that Conway's Aqua Buddha ad and the Democrat's focus on the topic could hurt him in the end. Polls so far have shown Paul maintaining a lead as the story become national news.
Collins tried to connect the Aqua Buddha story to the Conway campaign's other storyline -- that Paul's quasi-libertarian past makes him too extreme on budget and economic issues for the Kentucky electorate -- when I asked about the debate on this morning's call.
Collins said Paul's unwillingness to answer questions about Aqua Buddha suggest he has a problem being "straight with Kentucky voters."
The Conway call this morning was all about Paul's past as a national sales tax supporter, a position Paul has distanced himself from on the campaign trail but Conway has turned into a new campaign ad. Collins also repeated Conway's attacks on Paul's support for an increased Medicare deductible and suggestion that drug enforcement should be the job of the state rather then federal government.
Meanwhile, Paul and the NRSC has continued hammering away at their base message in Kentucky: namely, that a victory for Conway will be a victory for President Obama, which Republicans say is not the kind of outcome Kentuckians will be looking for when they vote Nov. 3.
If tonight's debate narrative shifts away from Aqua Buddha, it seems, the candidates will have plenty to talk about. The debate starts at 8 p.m. ET. Look for full coverage from TPM throughout the evening.
The TPM Poll Average shows Paul leading the race 47.1-42.6.