After a summer of sustained attacks from the left on his record, verbal miscues on President Obama's citizenship and Medicare and nervous Republicans whispering about his potential vulnerabilities, the Ozarks Congressman looks to have weathered the storm with muster.
And if you trust Rasmussen Reports, he looks primely positioned in the 2010 U.S. Senate contest -- now 13 months away.
More importantly, he's shown he can take a punch early and often. And he's well aware the barrage has barely begun.
After Rasmussen showed that Blunt was deadlocked with probable Democrat Robin Carnahan, the Blunt team celebrated like it was a victory.
Blunt's team sent out an fundraising e-mail blast to supporters: "You made it happen! Rasmussen Reports today issued a poll showing the U.S. Senate race between Roy Blunt and Robin Carnahan tied 46-46, despite huge amounts spent for false television attack ads by very (very) liberal groups from outside Missouri."
"The end of a crucial fundraising quarter is coming on September 30. We're seeing from new polling and other information that this is a very winnable race," the e-mail went on.
The mere fact that the team is celebrating "a very winnable race," shows how far Blunt has come over the past year. Many Republicans mumbled that Blunt faced rough waters. Some would even mutter under their breath that Blunt was likely to lose.
Sure, the national environment has helped. Growing skepticism of the Democratic supermajority and fears about President Obama's vision for healthcare. But he fought back primary challengers, quietly massaged skeptics behind closed doors and toured the state aggressively. And now, the poll shows that Blunt has higher favorable numbers than Carnahan. "I'm pretty shocked by that," said one Springfield GOPer.
The question now for Carnahan is whether her team is seeing similar internal numbers, and if there's a slight strategy shift going forward. Does Carnahan need to come out earlier and offer clearer positions to boost her mojo? Does she come out more aggressively against Blunt?
Then again, this could all be a flash in the pan.
It would be silly to put too much weight into one poll. And it comes just as Blunt's odd and seemingly tone-deaf comments about playing the ball "where the monkey throws it" continues to get traction. (It remains a top story on KY3.com)
The numbers will shift and surprise again, quicker than the seasons.
Blunt can smile that on the dawn of autumn '09, he's fought himself all the way back . . . to a tie.
And you might suggest that the old baseball adage could easily apply to politics.
Ties usually go, to the runner.