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Some on Daily Kos may wonder how is it that Mitch McConnell keeps getting reelected to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky.  Basically, there are three fundamentals that work to McConnell's advantage here in Kentucky.  Firstly, McConnell is a corporate whore and floods the airwaves with his propaganda.  Secondly, the Kentucky Democratic Party has not placed its better candidates to run against McConnell. Finally, McConnell has benefited from political timing and the general conservatism of Kentucky voters.

McConnell is very, very good at campaign fundraising, especially from corporate donors.  He outpaces your average U.S. Senator on raising corporate cash.  With this war chest, McConnell can dominate the less costly media markets in Kentucky.  

McConnell's campaign coffers serve another important function besides media buys.  All that campaign cash scares off potential opponents.  Politically ambitious Democrats see that McConnell can bury them in negative ads, and they calculate that it is better to pursue easier career paths - running for Governor or the other Senate seat - than take on McConnell.

Speaking of Democrats tucking tail and running in the other direction, the Kentucky Democratic Party has never really fielded strong candidates against McConnell.  After Huddleston blew his reelection bid to McConnell in 1984, Democrats have nominated weak state wide candidates or unknowns to run against McConnell.  The last candidate to run against McConnell in 2008, Lunsford, actually had given campaign donations to McConnell.  The only reason Lunsford got the nod is that he had money and had run several times before for governor.  In other words, Lunsford had vague name recognition for your average, uniformed Democratic primary voter.

To make matters worse, the Kentucky Democratic Party has let the party apparatus fall into complete disrepair; this has occurred despite Democrats holding the governorship for most of the last four decades.  In fact, Governor Beshear is continuing the decline of the Kentucky Democratic Party by appointing do nothings that just collect pay checks.  The Kentucky Democratic Party doesn't even bother to send out press releases when McConnell does something foolish, like filibustering his own proposal to give the President the authority to raise the debt ceiling.

Basically, the Kentucky Democratic Party is the gang that can't shoot straight.

Besides a non-existent opposition, McConnell has also been blessed with great political timing or circumstances.  In 1984, McConnell had the Reagan landslide to help him get elected.  While 1996 saw Clinton get reelected with a plurality, somehow, Clinton drove Kentucky voters to embrace Republicanism state wide.  As a counter weight to that demon Clinton, McConnell trounced his Democratic opponent that year.  2002 was just one year after 9/11, and, yes, McConnell exploited that tragedy as all good Republicans did.  Finally, McConnell had Satan himself, Obama, to run against in 2008.

Clinton as a demon and Obama as Satan?  Huh?  Well, Kentucky voters are also socially very conservative, and they are an ignorant, bigoted bunch too.  Clinton was all for gays, African Americans, and taking guns away.  Oh, and he got a blowjob from a woman other than his wife.  Kentuckians may not understand fiscal policy or the economy, but they know when a man cheats on his wife he is not to be trusted.  

Obama's mere presence turns Kentuckians off.

Are McConnell's advantages insurmountable?  No. My point is that McConnell, besides being a corporate whore, is not some political genius to be feared.  Weak candidates and political timing have been instrumental in keeping McConnell in power, but he can be beaten.  Whether or not that happens, remains to be seen.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You may be right (9+ / 0-)

    but I get the impression that he is basically an old school machine politician and the one thing that they are very good at is entrenching themselves once in power.

    •  he is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane

      married to former Sec of Labor for the Bush Administration;

      Speaker John Boehner called on President Obama to "deal honestly" with the fiscal problems facing the country. 12. 22. 2012

      by anyname on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:32:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  New factor: Tea Party. (0+ / 0-)

      His favorability is in the negatives, his pick for senate in 2010 got swat down, and if a guy like Paul Ryan get picked, his campaign coffers may dry up faster than a turtle leather husk on an ashpalt on a hot summer's day.

      Right now, McConnell and the '08 Senate Repubs are finally having their turn to bat against the Tea Party and I bet it'll bring a smile to every kos' face seeing ol' turtle soup "right"-ed out int he primaries. I know I would. :)

  •  I've lived in Kentucky; (7+ / 0-)

    outside of Louavul there's hardly a Democratic Party anyway, so it's no big suprise Mitch gets elected over and over again.

    More interesting to me: Why is he Majority Leader? and, more devastatingly, why can't the Senate Democrats come up with anyone better than Harry Reid?

  •  And he's ready to use this money advantage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HappyinNM, Lujane

    against Ashley Judd. He's already done the preliminary dirt-digging on her, ready to use his findings as soon as she takes the plunge and decides to run against him.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:03:18 PM PST

  •  Lunsford came pretty close to beating McConnell (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HappyinNM, reflectionsv37, Lujane

    even with McConnell's corporate war chest.

    Lunsford is from NKY too. If Democrats had a strong candidate from NKY... it would help so much to deflect that Republican stronghold.

    And, yes, the Democratic Party is in disarray in Kentucky. BUT, there are a lot of good people on the ground working their hearts out.

    One of the big problems that I see... and it is under the radar... is the carving out of the core of Lexington and its progressive base. Once you lose that... Lexington has nothing except the red outer belts and you can give it up for the Democrats in Kentucky when you lose Lexington's progressive city core.

    The Urban County Council and its idiots are tearing down perfectly good middle class homes and ruining wonderful middle class neighborhoods with ratty motels dumped down in them 23 feet away from backyards just so the developers can pour more asphalt on Southland Drive in Lexington which is in a flood zone. FEMA is the only thing that can stop the madness.

    Anyway, we have some great Democratic folks here... Jack Conway, Kathy Stein, Alison Lundergan Grimes, Crit Luallen. I'm hoping Kathy runs for Ben Chandler's old seat.


    One may live without bread, but not without roses.
    ~Jean Richepin
    Bread & Roses

    by bronte17 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:23:40 PM PST

  •  Ky Democrats needs to start with house (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, Stude Dude

    to house parties with Women.  Teach ins showing them how continually electing Republicans and what that actually costs and hurts them.  Women usually vote as their husbands do.  

    The Democrats "believe" they must be blue dog Democrats or they have no chance.  It isn't working.  Other tactics need to be nutured and tried.

    I want McConnell out and Rand Paul.  

    "Politics is the entertainment branch of industry"--Frank Zappa

    by Paddy999 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:52:53 PM PST

  •  I know they're floating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    Ashley Judd as a possibility.  Of course, McConnell will just say "Hollyweird".  How does Gov. Beshear stack up against Yertle?

    "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

    by TLS66 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:50:08 PM PST

  •  He's a good politician and he's a Republican (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    from Kentucky. I think that's enough.

  •  there's only one reason to me... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the first one you mentioned. McConnell is a complete, total Grand Old Prostitute for the filthy rich. He begs them for massive quantities of money, then bends over and does anything they want him to do in exchange for that massive amount of money.

    That is the one AND ONLY thing that has made and keeps McConnell in the Senate, in my opinion.

    He has, in fact, been a longtime champion for MORE MONEY in politics (not only does he not want campaign finance reform, but he wants to eliminate all campaign finance regulations and have more money in politics.).

    In fact, the biggest failure of Democrats has been their unwillingness, for some bizarre reason, to tell voters in Kentucky (and throughout the U.S., for that matter) of
    McConnell's number one political priority: that there should be MORE MONEY IN POLITICS not less. He has said that and has never retracted that statement.

    It seems to me than ANY Democrat, no matter how weak or how strong, would do well to make that the number one messge of their entire campaign: that McConnell thinks there is not enough money in politics.

    Why should that be the number one message? Because...it shows how completely out of touch and divorced from reality he is and has been for his entire carreer and it demonstrates what a complete whore and prostitute McConnell is.

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