The Kentucky Gubernatorial Primary Ends and We’re Trying for Revolution

 

Kentucky_state_capitol_buildingSo here in Kentucky we had a real barnburner of a primary. I mean that somewhat literally.  There’s an old joke we often attribute to Mark Twain–that when the world ends, the best place to be is in Kentucky, because everything happens here 20 years later. Well, the rest of the South went Republican in 1996. Here we are, 20 years later, and Kentucky was going to flip–we’d take the House and the Governor’s mansion–and then this happened.

First, a few things you should know about Kentucky. For starters, we aren’t a Republican state.  Yeah, the senators are Republicans, and 5 of the 6 Representatives are Republicans, but at the state level everything is Democrats. The executive branch is 4:1 Democrats. The House is Democratic, and the only reason the Senate is Republican is because of animosity between Democrats that led to a palace coup in 1996, a story I told last year.

I live in the Republican heart of District 6, the county where Andy Barr runs up the totals he needs to counteract Lexington’s Democrats; and last election cycle there wasn’t a single Republican running for anything below Statehouse (who was promptly creamed by a woman even Democrats can’t stand). The Republican Party of Kentucky is really the McConnell for Senate Campaign, which can be repurposed when McConnell doesn’t need it, and which has coattails when he does. Truly, it isn’t that much different from when Henry Clay ran the state and basically selected the state officers and his junior senator.

That changed in 2010 with the Paul for Senate campaign. Now, Paul still relies on the McConnell campaign for support (if you want to know why they are friends, this is probably part of the reason), but he does have a certain amount of independence with his Tea Party-ish support apparatus. Here at the University, we have the College Republicans and the Young Americans for Liberty, and the former are about four times the size of the latter. They often piggyback on each others’ events, by which I mean the CRs invite the YALers to our events–I sponsor the CRs, which are the fastest growing club in Kentucky, and possibly the whole USA right now: I’m very proud. Here’s a picture of them being awesome, and to the immediate left of the CR with his hands up is one of the YALers):

College Republicans in Kentucky

The relationship between the Tea Party and the McConnell campaign is very similar.

So now we kind of have two Republican parties in the state. This is also not new. Back in the days of Happy Chandler and Alben Barkley, the joke went that, sure we had Republicans in the state–they were the Chandler Democrats.

The second thing you need to know is that, much like Gaul, All Kentucky is divided into three parts: Eastern, Western, and the Golden Triangle. Eastern Kentucky is the Appalachian Mountains region of the state, and extends toward the Tennessee Border and a bit farther west towards Bowling Green. It’s the home of deep shaft coal mining, debates about mountain top removal, and Harlan County–along with Owlesy and Martin County, the poorest region of the Country.  There are two jobs in Eastern Kentucky: coal mining and government, and coal mining is in decline. It’s not an accident that Hal Rodgers, chair of the US House Appropriations Committee, keeps money flowing to his home district. Western Kentucky picks up a bit, east of Bowling Green, and continues across the south of the state and then back up the Ohio River to just south of Louisville.  If Eastern Kentucky was populated by the Scots-Irish Whigs who were fervently Unionist, Western Kentucky was populated by the Southern slaveowners, and provided a great many soldiers to the South. Western Kentucky is the land of cotton and tobacco, and open pit mining. It has commerce along the river, tourism at the Land Between the Lakes, Atomic City outside Paducah, and it also includes Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Finally, the Golden Triangle is the part of the state that begins in Louisville, follows I-64 east to Lexington, and then I-64 north to Cincinnati. The triangle is closed by the Ohio River. Half the population and half the economic activity of the state happens here, and while the suburbs and smaller towns are heavily Republican (especially the Cincinnati and Louisville suburbs–at least after you get out of Jefferson County), the cities themselves lean Democratic. The Golden Triangle looks a lot like America as a whole in terms of its industry and economy, including manufacturing in Louisville and banking in Lexington. These three parts of the state don’t like each other.

Rand Paul’s base is the West, McConnell’s is the Golden Triangle, and the East is the Red-headed stepchild of Kentucky (and the place probably most likely to vote for the first Democrat who promises to stop the war on coal).

So it isn’t surprising that the Kentucky GOP governor’s primary drew a challenger from each district: Hal Heiner from Louisville and the Golden Triangle (he was a councilmember in Louisville and ran for mayor in 2010), James Comer from the East (previously the Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture and the token statewide Republican), and Matt Bevin from the West (a Louisville businessman, but a Paulite -even though Paul for reasons stated above stayed neutral). OK, technically there was also Will Scott, another Eastern Kentucky candidate, but he was small.

Bevin had previously run for Senate against McConnell, and we’re all aware of how that went.  McConnell beat him quite easily, because as established, he’s the Republican Party of Kentucky, our contemporary Henry Clay. And Bevin was also a bit of a ego candidate. He largely self-financed his campaign. Heiner had some donor support, but he also self-funded. Comer was the leading candidate with the largest donor support (probably because he was the token statewide Republican). So, most people focused on Heiner and Comer.

Cards on the table–I backed Comer on the grounds that he wanted to do something different in Eastern Kentucky to attract economic development besides the usual Chamber of Commerce tax zones that Heiner and Bevin pitched. Industrial hemp didn’t excite me much, but things like a tourism trail in the mountains similar to the Bourbon Trail and Horse Trail seemed like plausible ideas. Also, he singlehandedly cleaned up the Agriculture Cabinet after the corruption of Richie Farmer, and made Republicans look good statewide. Such should be rewarded.

I don’t know when things went sideways, and I saw some non-CoC stuff going back and forth between Heiner and Comer, but Heiner drew the brunt of the blame. Heiner’s supporters dug up an old girlfriend of Comer’s who claimed that he’d beat her and procured an abortion for her (evidence for which she had, but was conveniently unable to get to before the election … ) when they were students at Western Kentucky back in the day. It got so bad that it became common knowledge that in the event that Heiner won, he’d have to replace his Lieutenant Governor to make amends with everyone Heiner’s negative attacks (made through that LG) had offended.  The expectation was that Comer would win, the scandal would collapse for lack of evidence, and we’d put the party back together. It’s 20 years after 1996, this is the year we take the Governor’s mansion and the House and Senate both.

Then the astonishing happened: Matt Bevin surged from behind–possibly on the strength of his “clean candidate” image (I’m unconvinced), including his famous last-week “Food Fight” ad.

Heiner collapsed except in his base in Louisville and a handful of Eastern counties, Bevin took the rest of the Mountain East (Comer took the foothills and South) and the Golden Triangle, and then split the West with Comer.  Coming out of the primary, Bevin led with 83 votes.

There are no runoffs or recounts in Kentucky–we can recanvass, but the machines verify the results on election night, so unsurprisingly, when the recanvass was completed last night, Bevin still held his 83 vote lead. Comer conceded this morning.

Now that Bevin has won, there are three concerns.  First, McConnell already raked Bevins over the coals, and those attacks are still out there: that he was less than honest about his education and that he accepted bailouts for his main business (Bevin Bros.–a bell manufacturing company that goes back to 1832). We can expect those attacks to be revived by Jack Conway, the Democratic Attorney General who is running for Governor.  Second, Bevin burned a lot of bridges with his attacks on McConnell, who, remember, is the modern Henry Clay and King of Kentucky.  McConnell is a professional, so I expect him to bury the hatchet and put the power of his campaign behind Bevin.  It remains to be seen how much the voters will do this.

The last concern, though, is that Bevin’s plans are–charitably–Western Kentucky-centric, and less charitably, completely unmoored from the reality of the state. The Golden Triangle leans Democratic, so for a Republican to win, he needs solid support in both the East and the West and to hold his own in the suburbs.

Bevin’s plan is to bust the Unions of Kentucky, something county officials have been trying to do for years in this state with only limited success. We’re talking full right-to-work, not just taking on the public sector unions. He also wants to roll back state boards and government employment to 2007 levels. This will hurt Eastern Kentucky pretty badly. As for his plans to overhaul the state retirement system (which does badly need an overhaul), converting the KRS (Kentucky Retirement System, and the related but distinct KTRS for teachers) has been a goal of Republicans for a decade, they just barely started making progress on it, and Bevin is going to scrap all of that to convert everything to a 401k over time, and in the interim increase employee contributions–an act of dubious legality because we have the “Ironclad Oath” here that the retirement system cannot be overthrown.

I am in general favor of these reforms, don’t get me wrong, and I applaud Bevin for attacking them directly.  But so were the other guys, and they at least had something on the other end. The reason Heiner and Comer both talked about building up Eastern Kentucky is because if we shutter the state government out there, the whole place would be out of work. So we need some kind of transition in place, and tax cuts won’t do it (we’ve tried). Similarly, opposing the war on coal is great, but the coal in Eastern Kentucky is petering out anyway. Likewise, while I applaud opposition to Obamacare, Kentucky’s success here is overstated. While KYNect may have been the only exchange to work, most of our expansion was Medicaid, which is a terrible program. This is going to cause issues in the Triangle. Comer’s plan was to find ways to get people off Medicaid, allowing for KYNect to be shut down in the future.

I am moderately concerned this is going to be a repeat of Sharon Angle, Richard Mourdock, or–given the divisions that led to it–Todd Akin. (And SoCon though I am, I’m not sure how thrilled I am with Bevin running around announcing he’s a Christian Conservative. Dear God, let there not be anything in his past more embarrassing than an embellished resume.)

It’s our moment. We’re apparently going to try for a revolution in Kentucky, and I’ll support it as best I can. Here we are with the candidate, back when he was a wildcard.

The CRs with Eventual GOP Nominee Matt Bevins

Let’s go.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Yeeha! Sounds like an interesting time ahead.

    • #1
  2. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Too distracted by “Revution” to read. What’s a “Revution?”

    • #2
  3. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Sounds like the KY Republican party has similar issues to the MT R’s. They have primaries with a large number of candidates that split the votes so the person that ends up winning has only minority support, has baggage, and can never get the traction needed to win the general.
    In MT, if there are only two main candidates in the R primary then the R usually wins the general, if more than two then the R usually loses.

    • #3
  4. Butters Inactive
    Butters
    @CommodoreBTC

    Can Bevin make inroads with black voters in Lexington and Louisville?

    His running mate is black, and he has four black children.

    He also makes great ads.

    • #4
  5. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    The Mourdock analogy really hits home. Indiana has a similar profile — its divisions run from north to south — as a not-so-Red state. He was a decent, but flawed candidate that voters never warmed to. In a Purple state, there’s too much of a left-wing media chorus for such a candidate to survive.

    • #5
  6. user_75648 Thatcher
    user_75648
    @JohnHendrix

    Thank you.  That was an excellent explainer.

    • #6
  7. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    I was feeling guilty about not making calls in the primary before. Now I feel incredibly guilty. 83 votes? I guess all I can do is pray that Bevin’s a less shamefully awful a human being than I understand to be the case, pray that if he is as bad, that he doesn’t go full Akin and bring down the Paul campaign with him the following year (this would require a heroically awful performance, but that doesn’t seem impossible), and that his coattails aren’t too painful for state candidates.

    Fricosis Guy:The Mourdock analogy really hits home. Indiana has a similar profile — its divisions run from north to south — as a not-so-Red state. He was a decent, but flawed candidate that voters never warmed to. In a Purple state, there’s too much of a left-wing media chorus for such a candidate to survive.

    Decent but flawed conservative candidates can win in purple states. Without Akin, I think Mourdock could have won. LePage reminds us that sometimes the third party morons are on the other side. Obviously, you can be unbelievably conservative in policy (Walker, for example), but you can also be elected while being conservative in your identity politics.

    The problem with Bevin is that he doesn’t seem to be decent, but flawed. If appeared to hold to the principles he claims as genuine beliefs, I’d feel both a lot more hopeful about his doing well, and a much stronger desire for him to do so.

    • #7
  8. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    But Akin did happen…in a state with its largest TV market only a two-hour drive from Mourdock’s home. That he was unprepared for abortion questions was criminal. Candidate quality matters more in purple states; there is less margin for error.

    President Gore and I agree with you re: third-party lunacy.

    • #8
  9. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Fricosis Guy:But Akin did happen…in a state with its largest TV market only a two-hour drive from Mourdock’s home. That he was unprepared for abortion questions was criminal. Candidate quality matters more in purple states; there is less margin for error.

    President Gore and I agree with you re: third-party lunacy.

    Right. I’m not denying that Akins are always a possibility (you’ll note that this is high on my prayer list in #7). I’m just saying that they’re not a certainty. If Bevin turns out to have principles and/ or be an effective campaigner and/ or a decent human being, then my pleasant surprise may include happiness at his success.

    I don’t think it’s that Akin was unprepared, just that his preparation was conducted in an echo chamber. I don’t think that it was particularly avoidable that he’d produce a gaffe; even the best of politicians unavoidably run the risk that something they’ll say will turn out to be stupid. Akin’s fault, in my eyes, was in staying on when it became clear that doing so was disastrous for the cause of conservatism in his state, in the country, and hence in the world. Akin’s preference for Akin’s welfare over, eg. that of unborn children, taxpayers, job seekers, and others who would benefit from conservative policies seems absolutely in line with Bevin’s preferences, with both candidates having proved to be wise investments for the progressives who backed them.

    • #9
  10. Butters Inactive
    Butters
    @CommodoreBTC

    James Of England:The problem with Bevin is that he doesn’t seem to be decent, but flawed. If appeared to hold to the principles he claims as genuine beliefs, I’d feel both a lot more hopeful about his doing well, and a much stronger desire for him to do so.

    Bevin is an Army veteran and adopted four children from Africa. He is sufficiently decent.

    • #10
  11. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Commodore BTC:

    James Of England:The problem with Bevin is that he doesn’t seem to be decent, but flawed. If appeared to hold to the principles he claims as genuine beliefs, I’d feel both a lot more hopeful about his doing well, and a much stronger desire for him to do so.

    Bevin is an Army veteran and adopted four children from Africa. He is sufficiently decent.

    Sure; you’re right that I should have been clearer about the limits to my concerns. Todd Akin also appears to have been a good husband and father, but his problems were still character problems. I spent a little time with Gov. McDonnell, who served, with more distinction, and who appeared to have a genuinely lovely relationship with his genuinely lovely daughter. Again, being a good family man and an excellent soldier didn’t mean that character charges against him were misplaced.

    • #11
  12. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    Western Chauvinist:Too distracted by “Revution” to read. What’s a “Revution?”

    Fixed -I just want it noted that this was the editor’s doing, not mine.  Other typos may be mine, but not that one.

    • #12
  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Sabrdance:

    Western Chauvinist:Too distracted by “Revution” to read. What’s a “Revution?”

    Fixed -I just want it noted that this was the editor’s doing, not mine. Other typos may be mine, but not that one.

    Editors make mistakes? /heh

    • #13
  14. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    James Of England:

    Commodore BTC:

    James Of England:The problem with Bevin is that he doesn’t seem to be decent, but flawed. If appeared to hold to the principles he claims as genuine beliefs, I’d feel both a lot more hopeful about his doing well, and a much stronger desire for him to do so.

    Bevin is an Army veteran and adopted four children from Africa. He is sufficiently decent.

    Sure; you’re right that I should have been clearer about the limits to my concerns. Todd Akin also appears to have been a good husband and father, but his problems were still character problems. I spent a little time with Gov. McDonnell, who served, with more distinction, and who appeared to have a genuinely lovely relationship with his genuinely lovely daughter. Again, being a good family man and an excellent soldier didn’t mean that character charges against him were misplaced.

    James, could you clarify for me what you mean by “doesn’t seem to be decent but flawed.”  When I spoke with him I just got the “politician” vibe -slightly slimy, but not corrupt.  Do you mean something beyond “self-financed candidate with over-broad policy goals and a propensity for exaggeration?”  That’s how I read him, but again, that’s just politicians.  Roy Blunt was the same way when I worked for him, just not as much.

    • #14
  15. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Sabrdance:

    James Of England:

    Commodore BTC:

    James Of England:The problem with Bevin is that he doesn’t seem to be decent, but flawed. If appeared to hold to the principles he claims as genuine beliefs, I’d feel both a lot more hopeful about his doing well, and a much stronger desire for him to do so.

    Bevin is an Army veteran and adopted four children from Africa. He is sufficiently decent.

    Sure; you’re right that I should have been clearer about the limits to my concerns. Todd Akin also appears to have been a good husband and father, but his problems were still character problems. I spent a little time with Gov. McDonnell, who served, with more distinction, and who appeared to have a genuinely lovely relationship with his genuinely lovely daughter. Again, being a good family man and an excellent soldier didn’t mean that character charges against him were misplaced.

    James, could you clarify for me what you mean by “doesn’t seem to be decent but flawed.” When I spoke with him I just got the “politician” vibe -slightly slimy, but not corrupt. Do you mean something beyond “self-financed candidate with over-broad policy goals and a propensity for exaggeration?” That’s how I read him, but again, that’s just politicians. Roy Blunt was the same way when I worked for him, just not as much.

    He talked for a while about how often he read the Constitution, and how it was the most important thing to him, and then when he was quizzed about it, didn’t know what article five was. He planned to run on TARP as his primary issue, but couldn’t when it was discovered that he’d supported it. In other words, his plan was to run on a dishonest platform, and he was upset that he couldn’t. He talked endlessly about avoiding ad hominems, but found that his chief political issue was McConnell’s 1986 vote for IRCA.

    It’s hard to show that someone doesn’t care about what they claim to care about, but having ungrounded policy claims helps, and the above failures really seem like gold standard examples of how you can get proof for a failure to live up to ideals even from someone who lacks a paper trail. Even the campaign professional who supported him and who gave me my longest insider account of the campaign seemed to believe that his primary asset was his willingness to say whatever it took to get Levin’s support (disturbingly, he thought this was a good thing).

    • #15
  16. Mark Belling Fan Member
    Mark Belling Fan
    @MBF

    Is Kentucky really run by Democrats? Or is it run by “Democrats”? I’d rather have Joe Manchin as my governor than Mike Castle.

    • #16
  17. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    MBF:Is Kentucky really run by Democrats? Or is it run by “Democrats”? I’d rather have Joe Manchin as my governor than Mike Castle.

    Eastern Kentucky is the Joe Manchin variety, though they have their hippy moments.  Western Kentucky is the Southern variety.  Golden Triangle is the Joe Biden variety.  It is the last that run the state.  Conway, Beshear, and Grimes are all Golden Triangle Democrats.

    • #17
  18. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    James Of England:

    He talked for a while about how often he read the Constitution, and how it was the most important thing to him, and then when he was quizzed about it, didn’t know what article five was. He planned to run on TARP as his primary issue, but couldn’t when it was discovered that he’d supported it. In other words, his plan was to run on a dishonest platform, and he was upset that he couldn’t. He talked endlessly about avoiding ad hominems, but found that his chief political issue was McConnell’s 1986 vote for IRCA.

    It’s hard to show that someone doesn’t care about what they claim to care about, but having ungrounded policy claims helps, and the above failures really seem like gold standard examples of how you can get proof for a failure to live up to ideals even from someone who lacks a paper trail. Even the campaign professional who supported him and who gave me my longest insider account of the campaign seemed to believe that his primary asset was his willingness to say whatever it took to get Levin’s support (disturbingly, he thought this was a good thing).

    Thanks.  I agree, but am not as worried.

    • #18
  19. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Sabrdance:

    Western Chauvinist:Too distracted by “Revution” to read. What’s a “Revution?”

    Fixed -I just want it noted that this was the editor’s doing, not mine. Other typos may be mine, but not that one.

    I’m confused because yes, that typo can only have been mine–I put that headline there–but I don’t remember fixing it, and I’m the only one who would have, unless some other editor was fixing typos on Ricochet for kicks early on a Saturday morning, which would be a strange and compulsive thing to do.

    And skimming through this, I see some typos that I thought I fixed.  (“pitched Industrial hemp”–I know I put a period between “pitched” and “Industrial.”) Let me look through the history here and see what happened. It’s definitely the editors’ fault, though, Sabrdance–I’ll vouch for that. I’ll shoot the person responsible.

    • #19
  20. Mark Belling Fan Member
    Mark Belling Fan
    @MBF

    So then it’s the Eastern Democrats that keep turning the state red for Presidential elections? Seems like the opposite of Wisconsin. The Democrats keep running Milwaukee-Madison (our version of golden triangle) Democrats statewide and losing badly because out state/rural/blue collar/populist voters despise the “big city” politicians.

    Then the GOP goes and runs Thurston Howell for president and sends these voters right back into the arms of Democrats.

    • #20
  21. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Claire Berlinski:

    Sabrdance:

    Western Chauvinist:Too distracted by “Revution” to read. What’s a “Revution?”

    Fixed -I just want it noted that this was the editor’s doing, not mine. Other typos may be mine, but not that one.

    Just went through the editorial history, and yep, I put the typo there. I don’t know how. Max fixed it. I guess I’m responsible. So, on further reflection, I think shooting the guilty party would be a bit excessive.

    • #21
  22. PsychLynne Inactive
    PsychLynne
    @PsychLynne

    Thanks so much for posting this!  I found it fascinating…despite Claire’s typos.

    • #22
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Claire Berlinski:Just went through the editorial history, and yep, I put the typo there. I don’t know how. Max fixed it. I guess I’m responsible. So, on further reflection, I think shooting the guilty party would be a bit excessive.

    I’ll have a talk with your cats about proper punishment. You should have learned after we had them take out the door handle.

    • #23
  24. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    MBF:So then it’s the Eastern Democrats that keep turning the state red for Presidential elections?

    Yes.  If you read my recounting of the 1996 coup from last year, you’ll see more or less how it works.  So at the state level, you have senior Democrats from Louisville-Jefferson County and Lexington-Fayette being buoyed up by Western and Eastern Democrats.  They are fairly liberal, but the Eastern Democrats don’t vote for them.  The statewide officials lack serious competition because until now the state GOP didn’t exist as a serious force.  The local democrats can be as kooky as they want because there’s no competition.

    True story: I worked in Paducah for a very Republican mayor (officially non-partisan, but everyone knew -his brother, the newspaper editor, made sure of that).  He had a good relation with the County Judge-Executive, a Democrat.  Very simpatico on ideology.  The judge retired wildly popular, and was replaced by a real piece of work.  Mayor went to his friend and asked him whether he liked the way the county was heading.  “No,” he said.

    “Well then challenge the new guy.”

    “I can’t, primary has passed.”

    “There’s no Republican candidate.  The party will get you on the ballot.”

    Judge looked at him and said, “Mayor, this is Western Kentucky.  I’d get slaughtered.  The Democrats could nominate a rock and it would win.”

    • #24
  25. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    Claire Berlinski:

    Claire Berlinski:

    Sabrdance:

    Western Chauvinist:Too distracted by “Revution” to read. What’s a “Revution?”

    Fixed -I just want it noted that this was the editor’s doing, not mine. Other typos may be mine, but not that one.

    Just went through the editorial history, and yep, I put the typo there. I don’t know how. Max fixed it. I guess I’m responsible. So, on further reflection, I think shooting the guilty party would be a bit excessive.

    I still have the edit button available.  Since it was bothering WC, I fixed “Revolution.”  I left “Industrial hemp” because I didn’t want to abuse my powers.  I thought I put a period there, too.

    • #25
  26. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Sabrdance:I still have the edit button available. Since it was bothering WC, I fixed “Revolution.” I left “Industrial hemp” because I didn’t want to abuse my powers. I thought I put a period there, too.

    Huh. I guess that means the original author can go back and edit a post, but it won’t show up as a separate version when I look at the post history. (All I see is that I made changes and that Max did. I don’t see that you made changes.) I wouldn’t get hung up on this, but since I’d already decided to shoot the malefactor –and then offer her a reprieve, when the malefactor turned out to be me — I suspect it would be wise for me to understand the forensics of it.

    Anyway, let me not get so distracted by my unfortunate typo as to forget to say that the post was really interesting. This is just the kind of thing I had in mind when I said, “I can’t find reporting on politics from my own country.” So thank you for this. It gave me a much clearer idea of what’s happening in Kentucky, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. 

    • #26
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Claire Berlinski:Anyway, let me not get so distracted by my unfortunate typo as to forget to say that the post was really interesting. This is just the kind of thing I had in mind when I said, “I can’t find reporting on politics from my own country.” So t

    I like it, too.  But I also preferred to “revution” to “revolution.”  I was going to try saying it the next time I visited the state to see if people would then mistake me for a Kentuckian.

    • #27
  28. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    MBF:So then it’s the Eastern Democrats that keep turning the state red for Presidential elections? Seems like the opposite of Wisconsin. The Democrats keep running Milwaukee-Madison (our version of golden triangle) Democrats statewide and losing badly because out state/rural/blue collar/populist voters despise the “big city” politicians.

    Then the GOP goes and runs Thurston Howell for president and sends these voters right back into the arms of Democrats.

    If you mean Romney, it seems worth remembering that no Republican in 40 years has won as many votes or as large a share of the Presidential votes in Kentucky as Mitt did.

    • #28
  29. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    James Of England:

    MBF:So then it’s the Eastern Democrats that keep turning the state red for Presidential elections? Seems like the opposite of Wisconsin. The Democrats keep running Milwaukee-Madison (our version of golden triangle) Democrats statewide and losing badly because out state/rural/blue collar/populist voters despise the “big city” politicians.

    Then the GOP goes and runs Thurston Howell for president and sends these voters right back into the arms of Democrats.

    If you mean Romney, it seems worth remembering that no Republican in history has won as many votes or as large a share of the Presidential votes in Kentucky as Mitt did.

    I am advised, he also did better than GOP candidates in many states, such that the legislative GOP did not do better than him.

    • #29
  30. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    James Of England:

    MBF:So then it’s the Eastern Democrats that keep turning the state red for Presidential elections? Seems like the opposite of Wisconsin. The Democrats keep running Milwaukee-Madison (our version of golden triangle) Democrats statewide and losing badly because out state/rural/blue collar/populist voters despise the “big city” politicians.

    Then the GOP goes and runs Thurston Howell for president and sends these voters right back into the arms of Democrats.

    If you mean Romney, it seems worth remembering that no Republican in history has won as many votes or as large a share of the Presidential votes in Kentucky as Mitt did.

    I presumed MBF was speaking of the state level.  I chose Biden as my example rather than Obama advisedly.  Obama is very unpopular here, but Clinton doesn’t share that unpopularity.  Allison Grimes was crushed in 2014 because McConnell tied her to Obama and the various unpopular aspects of his administration: coal and Obamacare.  But even the Obama people realized that if Grimes had just broken with Obama on those aspects and focused on the more typical class warfare type issues -jobs and unions -she might have had a shot.

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