Ky. Democrats in Disarray

Recently arrived political writer Sam Youngman at the Lexington Herald-Leader has been very active this week, with articles thus far on 18, 20, and 21 March, the subject matter essentially being that democrat Grimes is about to unseat longtime Senator Mitch McConnell, minority leader of the Senate. He and other democrats continue to rely on a recent poll, called the “Bluegrass Poll,” commissioned by two newspapers and TV stations, respectively, in Louisville and Lexington, strongholds of anti-McConnell media cabals.

Pollsters of SurveyUSA interviewed 1,200 adults with home phones and cell phones between January 30 and February 4, of whom 1,082 were registered to vote in the state with 404 being registered republicans, but with Primary questions asked only of them. Other questions were asked of all registered voters. Why no Primary questions of democrats? Answer: these media activists have eliminated the three democrat candidates besides Grimes...the fix is in. And why count 118 who were not even registered? Twice as many democrats as republicans were polled, the reason being obvious to even a fifth-grader.

Kentucky votes republican in national elections even though democrats outnumber republicans in the state by 52%. The poll, demographically identified by name and therefore probably confined to the actual “bluegrass” area, had McConnell slightly behind Grimes—not surprising. Most of McConnell's strength resides in the rest of the state, though Lexington is represented in the House by republican Andy Barr. All but Yarmuth in Louisville in the other districts are represented by republicans.

This is Youngman on the eighteenth: “McConnell's numbers are dreadful. It doesn't look like they can get much worse. It's the most commonly accepted truth of the race...” Wow! In the next paragraph, he indicates that Grimes was “still working to find firm footing for a bruising campaign.” The lady hadn't even got her agenda settled. He then turned to McConnell, with remarks that showed McConnell's strength and tactics and opined that McConnell's campaign, in horse-race jargon, was “rolling in, and the track could soon go from fast to sloppy.” Indeed!

In his offering of the twentieth, which pointed to the fissures in the democrat party concerning the next gubernatorial clambake, Youngman quoted hopeful Attorney General Conway as claiming that “a strong gubernatorial ticket is an asset to to Alison Lundergan Grimes' campaign.” Whoa! Is Grimes' campaign this year or next year? As of yet, there is no gubernatorial ticket to help her campaign...or was Youngman dreaming of his Washington days instead of listening? Gubernatorial campaigns begging for (and siphoning away) money from other candidates could not be helpful in any year. If Conway believes this, he should get a running mate and announce—to help Grimes, of course. The governor's race is a long time off.

House Speaker Stumbo, according to Youngman, said categorically that Crit Luallen (his most feared enemy, whom he classified as a hopeless Frankfort “insider,” as if he isn't) has absolutely no chance for the governorship. He also took out Auditor Edelman (“ain't made it yet...gifted but young”). His criticism of Conway took the form of comparing him with other candidates from Louisville—“doesn't run well out in the state most of the time.” McConnell was judge-executive of Jefferson County (Louisville) 1978-85 but managed election to the Senate from “out in the state” anyway, and has ever since. Maybe Stumbo didn't notice.

In his offering of the twenty-first, Youngman seemed to have an attack of journalistic integrity, citing Grimes' jobs plan but also indicating that Grimes couldn't explain it very well and that, besides, it depended largely on federal funds, this at a time when those funds would have to be borrowed from China if the Congress managed to do anything in the first place. When pressed about how to finance her plan, according to Youngman, she resorted to attacking McConnell, a sure sign of desperation.

The articles taken together indicate that the state's elite democrats, not to mention the friendly media, are worried about both the state and national races, as well they should be. Governor Beshear's split on same-sex marriage perks with AG Conway, with the governor winning the judicial delay of indeterminate length, is an example of the democrat disarray. Stumbo went with the wrong rich guy the last time around (for the second spot) and is waylaying the opposition early this time. Democrats in Kentucky have always been plagued by the infighting of their factions—great fun to watch.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark