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We anticipated that Obamacare would be a huge issue in the Kentucky gubernatorial campaign, and believed the race could be won – despite only two Republicans prevailing since Truman — if it was approached in a way to broaden the base.
So in the last week Independent Women’s Voice made a targeted push to the roughly 100,000 remaining undecided voters. We engaged them, as we have done successfully in the past, with a series of quiz calls and mailings that were straight issue self-education and never explicitly advocated for either candidate – hence no need to file. We did this because we knew that once people understood the issues, and knew that Matt Bevin had signed the Repeal Pledge while Jack Conway had not, that they would make up their own minds about the message they wanted this election to send.
The result: Despite polls this week showing that Conway (D) was beating Bevin (R) by five points, and prediction markets running 80-20 for a Democrat win, Matt Bevin has won the governorship 53 percent to 44 percent, with a commanding 85,000 vote margin. Three cheers for the RGA coming back in in a big way. And three cheers for the Bevin campaign that ran a race that worked.
This was a particularly important victory not only for Kentucky, but nationally: Conway was for the first time running aggressively on the benefits of Medicaid expansion. Had he won, the issue would have been picked up and employed by the left, while chilling GOP campaigns and muddling policy positions.
Instead we have shown that ObamaCare is not a golden goose, but an albatross. WPA Research is in the field for us today surveying Kentuckians on this election, and I hope to have more insights and interesting information for you this weekend.
Many thanks to all who helped and had faith as we yet again took on a race that the consensus decreed done, over, and a waste of time and resources. Oops.