MAYSVILLE — Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Rand Paul will crisscross the state in the final days of their closely-watched race for the U.S. Senate in search of votes for Tuesday's election.
The candidates' schedules for their campaigns' finale indicate areas of the state where they want to make sure voter turnout is heavy.
Conway, who claimed in Maysville Friday that the race is "very, very close" despite polls that show Paul with a growing advantage, has scheduled a full day of campaigning Saturday in Western Kentucky, a Democratic stronghold but conservative in its voting patterns.
Conway is to start the day at a restaurant in Bowling Green, Paul's hometown, and finish at a McCracken County truck stop after appearances in Daviess County, Henderson, Union County and Webster County.
Never miss a local story.
Paul is scheduled to meet supporters Saturday in London, Lexington, Louisville and Bowling Green.
On Sunday, Conway plans to visit African-American churches in Louisville and some counties in Central Kentucky's 6th Congressional District. Paul has not yet announced his Sunday schedule.
Both candidates plan to travel across the state on Monday by plane.
Paul expects to end his campaigning late Monday in Bowling Green. Conway has a rally late Monday on the University of Louisville campus with former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton also campaigned last month for Conway on the University of Kentucky campus.
Conway told a crowd of about 75 Friday in Maysville that the time is coming for him to turn over to voters the "long race" that started for him in April 2009.
"I'm just the name on the ballot," Conway said. "This race is about you and your kids, and the fundamental question of what we are about ready to do. Are we going to take a step forward into the future or are we going to allow this anger that is out there right now take us back?"
At stops in Ashland, Greenup and Maysville, Conway pounded Paul on issues ranging from a $2,000 deductible on Medicare for future retirees to a 23 percent national sales tax. Paul has said Conway has taken his comments on various issues out of context.
Conway appeared enthusiastic and upbeat Friday, joking while shivering in Maysville that he "may have found the coldest spot in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
"You have the wind blowing off the river. The shadows. This place is colder than my opponent's position toward seniors," he said.
Asked after his speech about what must happen for the election to break his way, Conway said he thinks Clinton's return visit "will be big," especially in the state's most populous county.
Conway also said he is gaining more support from women and seniors.
Paul, who gave several media interviews Friday but made no public appearances, said he believes he has solidified the lead polls give him.
Paul claimed during an interview with Mandy Connell on Louisville's WHAS-AM radio that Conway's poll numbers got worse after he started running a TV ad about Paul's involvement with a secret society while at Baylor University in the 1980s.
He called the Conway ad, which said the secret society mocked Christianity and accused Paul of forcing a woman to bow down and worship a false god named "Aqua Buddha," an example of "the politics of self-destruction." Paul has called the ad "all lies."
A confident Paul said during the radio interview that he will help mount an effort in the Senate to repeal the health care overhaul pushed by President Barack Obama.
In his final TV ad for the campaign, Paul is airing pleasant scenes of him with his family and patients. His wife, Kelley Paul, talks about his "boundless energy" and his belief that "America's brightest days are ahead."