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.