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People often forget that there are off-year elections, but this coming Tuesday sees gubernatorial elections in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and state legislative elections in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia.
The gubernatorial elections in Louisiana and Mississippi seem to be fine, but it’s always helpful to have bigger majorities (or, in New Jersey’s case, a bigger minority) in the legislature. If you know someone in a state with a legislative election on Tuesday, please call them and remind them to vote. In off-year elections, so many people forget to do this, which makes every vote count.
In particular, Kentucky’s gubernatorial election is within the margin of error (tied in this poll, five points down in this one). If we take this race, it’s entirely possible that — for the first time in history — Kentucky will have a Republican governor with a Republican legislature; right now, we dominate the Senate, they have a slight lead in the House.
Matt Bevin, the Republican candidate, is not an impressive guy and there’s an independent called Drew Curtis who is considerably more appealing in just about every regard (he’s a right leaning centrist, but he seems considerably more honest, principled, and competent than Bevin; he’s a disaster for us, primarily taking votes from our side). If your friend or relative is considering voting for Curtis, please remind them that Curtis is not an actual candidate; at 6 percent of the vote, he’s not someone who might become governor.
In presidential races, people often make the ridiculous claim that if there’s a significant vote (e.g., 1.5 percent) for a third party this time, then the third party will win the next election. It should go without saying voting for the Super-Duper-Awesome Party in this election is not a guaranteed way to get a bigger SDAP vote in the next one. In statewide elections, we know that you don’t have to have a history of third party votes to get a third party candidate; there’s been a bunch of independent governors and senators. In short, there’s no practical reason to vote for Curtis.
If your friend or relative is considering voting for either Democrat Conway or Curtis, by all means go ahead and point out how charming, witty, and insightful Curtis is and commend them to watch the debates. But if your friend or relative is a conservative who wants to pass conservative reforms, remind them that the legislature is pretty sound and that it’s likely to get better in the next couple of cycles. As with Mrs. Of England in the years before I met her, Kentucky is growing in all the right places and should get more conservative and generally appealing over time. We don’t need a competent or upstanding governor; we just need someone who will sign the bills that get given to them.
Bevin stands a good chance of being primaried in four years anyway. If they’re mad as heck at the party, remind them that Bevin ran an aggressive campaign against McConnell in the 2016 Senate primary. If they’re Christian and/or not opposed to Kim Davis, remind them that Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, was warned about the Kim Davis controversy, had it pointed out to him how he could avoid it happening (although Huckabee and pals tried to make it about SSM, Davis was really just asking for a competently designed form along the lines of the form Bevin suggested in his one shining moment of insight), and deliberately went ahead and created a controversy that has filled Democratic campaign coffers at a cost of shaming Kentucky, and making gays and Christians alike feel hated and persecuted. Conway, the current candidate is Beshear’s attorney general and went along with — and benefited from — this despicable behavior. If you have any other messages for potential voters, please leave them in the comments; I’ll be speaking to a lot more voters in Lexington over the coming days, and any facts that I’m missing could help a lot.
If your friend or relative will be out of town on Tuesday, remind them that they can vote early. (You can only vote early if you are out of the county all Tuesday, but if that’s the case you can).
The chance to have a worthwhile leader for Kentucky was lost in the primary by a mere 83 votes. The chance to avoid disaster may rest on an even smaller number. Please, if you know someone, call them. If they’ve already voted or are certain to vote, ask them to call their friends and make sure they vote, too. If they’re already doing that, make sure that they call people who aren’t really their friends.
Vote for the jerk. It’s important.
Image Credit: “Businessman and political candidate Matt Bevin” by Steve Magruder.Published in