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Jed Lewison has posted McConnell's latest lie on the ACA.  And it has sparked some debate and acrimony on Grimes political strategy here on Daily Kos.  I am not privy to the Grimes campaign thinking, but I can hazard a guess on her latest moves, especially with regards to the ACA and kynect.  It all comes down to playing to the disaffected and unaligned voters in Kentucky and NOT energizing Republican voters in the process.

Let me try to explain.  Bear with me while I try to get across the inherent social conservatism and racism present among Kentucky voters.  It's not as simple as you think.

Before the passage of civil rights legislation, Kentucky was typical of many Southern and Border states.  Approximately 68% of the electorate was registered as Democrats, and Kentucky usually voted for Democratic candidates, with the exception of Kennedy in 1960, on the national and state level.  However, with the passage of civil right legislation and the embrace of the issue among national Democrats, the number of registered Democrats has been declining in Kentucky.  

The number of registered Democrats in Kentucky is now in the mid fifties, while the number of Republicans and independents has grown.  There are a number of social issues that have driven this movement from the Democratic Party to unaligned status or the Republican Party, but one underlying and strong social issue is that of race.

Finding hard statistical data on racism among white Kentucky voters is difficult to find.  Most voters with bigoted attitudes won't go on the record with social scientists.  All I can tell you is anecdotal evidence of people that I have known here in Kentucky, and some of it is ugly with regards to race.  Politics for these people was reduced to who supported white people versus blacks.

And because white Democratic politicians are associated with support for civil rights and acceptance of African American voters as part of their voting coalition, some racist white voters got the message and left the Democratic Party.  However, not all left in Kentucky.  Some, either because it is too much trouble or they are too lazy, have not bothered to switch their party affiliation.  You know those folks as DINOs.

Think I'm making that last bit up?  One bit of data that I do have is from the 2008 Democratic primary.  Obama was on the ballot with no challengers, but 42% of the Democrats in the primary did not vote for Obama.  Now, not every vote in that 42% was from a bigoted voter.  Some was clearly a protest vote against Obama by Democrats dissatisfied with his rightward shift in governance, but not all of it was.  Some of it was probably DINOs who don't like a biracial man in the White House.

It is the DINOs who make the difference for Republican politicians in Kentucky, with the exception of Congressman Hal Rogers who has a mind boggling number of Republicans in his district.  But if you are a Republican and want to win statewide, you need the DINOs and the Republican voters to vote for you.  This political dynamic brings us back to Grimes, McConnell and the ACA.

Grimes had decided to basically dodge the question of the ACA.  While she has supported some provisions of the ACA - kids being on their parents plans until age 26 for one, Grimes has hedged and said she wants to fix parts of the ACA that affect small businesses.  And it is a dodge.  No doubt about it.  And it is not accidental.

As pointed out by Congressman John Yarmuth, Grimes is not going to discuss the ACA or kynect, unless she absolutely has to.  The thinking is that Republicans have made the ACA so toxic with all their lies that Grimes can't touch this issue until Kentuckians realize that the world has not ended with its passage.  And there is some truth to what Yarmuth says.  We have a rumor running around Kentucky that those who sign up for health care through kynect have to have an electronic chip implanted in their arm.  I'm not making that up.  This rumor is also being promulgated in West Virginia too.

Anyway, Beshear is going to defend kynect for Grimes.  Beshear is popular, and he will take any of the heat over the dreaded ACA.  This became obvious from two interviews that Beshear did with Ed Schultz.  Ed asked him several times if Grimes would go out and talk up the good things about the ACA, and Beshear did not answer the question.

Will this act of political courage by Grimes inspire the Democratic base? Of course not.  But the purpose of this strategy is not to fire up the Democratic base in Kentucky.  It is to ensure that Republicans and DINOs don't get fired up to vote against Obama by supporting McConnell.

McConnell knows that he is as popular as coal ash with Kentucky voters, so his only means for reelection is to link Grimes to the Obama.  A vote for McConnell becomes another way for bigots in the state to punch Obama in the face.  How else do you think that Rand Paul got elected in 2010?  Voting Republican meant hurting Obama, and McConnell needs to recapture that magical moment in 2014.

It is why Grimes is going all out to remind Kentucky voters she is not Obama.  However, Grimes has to remind voters that they are not in love with McConnell.  It is why she wrote that open letter to the crazy Bevin supporters.  It cost her nothing to do it, but she reminded Republicans that McConnell is a prick.  None of those crazy bastards will vote for her, but they may just sit out the election, which is fine with Grimes.

Do I approve of this political strategy?  It is not a profile in courage, and it is a cynical ploy. I would love to see some left wing populist tear McConnell a new one, but the Kentucky Democratic Party has maybe one of those.  And he is not running for statewide office.  But I have resigned myself to you get what you get through the primary process.  

Is Grimes strategy doomed to failure?  I don't know.  I've seen others in the political arena walk tightropes that got them elected, and the Kentucky electorate is one hell of pit to fall into.

Originally posted to Merlin1963 on Fri May 23, 2014 at 03:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent diary. (17+ / 0-)

    Running as a Democrat in a state as red as Kentucky is hard. As you point out, revving up the base can be counterproductive when you're outnumbered.

  •  That is the best possible defense (7+ / 0-)

    for what may still be a flawed strategy. The " independent " or "unaligned" voter is a myth, and she should not be counting on them. She needs to get her base fired up to come out to vote for her. They already hate McConnell, they need a reason to vote for Grimes

    Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.-- Wm.Pitt the Younger

    by JeffSCinNY on Fri May 23, 2014 at 03:59:24 PM PDT

    •  The point isn't the true independents. (9+ / 0-)

      As you point out, there aren't that many of them (not a "myth", but not a large subset either).

      However, it's not as if the electorate consists only of strong Democratic partisans and strong Republican partisans. There are a lot of weak partisans on both sides. And it's the weak partisans, on both sides, that her campaign is aimed at. Because she can't win a high-turnout pure-base election, she needs to minimize her losses among weak Republican partisans. If she were to fire up her base with aggressively liberal rhetoric, the allergic reaction among the weak Republicans would probably sink her campaign.

      •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)
        If she were to fire up her base with aggressively liberal rhetoric, the allergic reaction among the weak Republicans would probably sink her campaign.
        Who is advocating for Grimes to "fire up her base with aggressively liberal rhetoric?"  What Grimes should do is fire up the base with aggressively populist rhetoric.  That you equate "populism" to "liberalism" is an indictment of your obviously right-leaning political world view.

        Your prescription for Grimes to chase "weak Republican voters" is an electoral loser.  Sadly, that seems to be the path that she is on and if she stays on that path thus refusing to give Kentucky voters a real choice, she's not going to beat McConnell.

        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

        by democracy inaction on Sat May 24, 2014 at 08:25:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The people in KY need to start (0+ / 0-)

        using that organ sitting at the top of their skull.  Are they so dense that they can't understand that McConnell and the republicans care nothing about them?

        Or is their hatred for President Obama so great and toxic that they vote for McConnell no matter what?

        This is beyond what my little brain can comprehend.

        How can so many people be so clueless as to believe that a chip will be inserted in them if they sign up for health insurance?  Are there no honest media in KY that would tell the truth?

    •  Oh gimme a break (12+ / 0-)

      Independent voters are why Democrat Joe Manchin won in 2012 by 20% even as Obama lost by 20%. Independent voters are why we're likely to keep Mark Pryor in power despite Obama losing there by 24%. Independent voters are why Heidi Heitkamp undercut a sitting US congressman who represented his entire state in the 2012 Senate race despite Obama losing by, again, 20%. I'm sick and tired of this shit. Red state senate elections are NOT a war of bases.

      And believe me, Grimes knows what her base is better than y'all. Those "dinos" the diarist is so willing to deride are, in fact, Democrats. They're Democrats because they're heavily unionized and very economically populist. They voted against Obama not because he's black or because they're too lazy to swap registrations, but because he's anti-coal and against them in several key social issues.

      Remember, Steve Beshear crushed the competition in 2011, despite the nation still reeling from the red tide of 2010. This is NOT a red state; but it's also a state with very different values than New York. Running a New York-style campaign in Kentucky is the surest way to lose, and I'll thank you to stop recommending it.

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

      by Le Champignon on Fri May 23, 2014 at 04:18:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heavily unionized? Nope. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nosleep4u, mumtaznepal, PeterHug

        According to the 2013 numbers from BLS (PDF), the relative size of Kentucky's union workforce is right in line with the national average - 11.2% of wage and salary workers in Kentucky are union members.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Fri May 23, 2014 at 06:25:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The rest of the South is under 5%. It is heavily (4+ / 0-)

          unionized by Southern standards. That suggests that the standard tropes of Southern politics don't apply.

        •  The Unions are nice and tough here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wary

          I was in Frankfort when the perennial "right to work" bill came up in Committee.  Union members crowded the committee room to the point I expected the fire marshall to bust in and clear the place.  All the Democrats on the committee took turns blasting the bill to loud cheers.  It was clear the bill only came up in committee so the members could raise hell against it.  Then they happily voted the thing down.  Outside, the capitol grounds were  covered with Union members, who cheered and gave speeches.

          It was a lovely day in Frankfort.

          "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

          by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Sat May 24, 2014 at 12:09:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  coal is dying for other reasons (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pilotshark, Wary, PeterHug

        1) All the easy coal in appalachia got pulled a long time ago

        2) Increased automation means fewer jobs

        3) renewables and declining demand are
        pulling more and more production down

      •  What? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unfangus, Merlin1963, v2aggie2

        Since when have populist campaigns only been considered appropriate in New York?  Are you a Kentuckian?  I am and from where I sit, you don't know what you're talking about.  Obama is "anti-coal and against [KY Democrats] in several key social issues?"  Really?  Racism had nothing to do with it?  That's not only utter bullshit, it's a right-wing talking point as divorced from reality as all the rest of their talking points.  Be careful, your bias is showing.

        You and the rest of the Democrats (assuming that you're actually a Democrat, of which I am not convinced) need to stop being afraid of offending the delicate sensibilities of right-leaning voters that aren't ever going to vote for a Democrat anyway.  The path to electoral victory for Democrats, even in Kentucky, is to fight hard for what you believe as a Democrat, not to triangulate the centrists with calculated, muddled, milquetoast messaging.

        I'll thank you to stop recommending the failed strategy of chasing the mythical "independent" voter that studies have shown to be a political loser and that Democrats have been waging for far too long.  And doing so by spouting bullshit right-wing talking points.  Your concern is noted.

        McConnell can be beaten, but not if Grimes is as afraid as you seem to be to actually fight him.

        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

        by democracy inaction on Sat May 24, 2014 at 07:39:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  She needs to contrast herself to McConnel (6+ / 0-)

      Avoiding connections to the ACA and thus Obamacare may be smart tactically but now that McConnel has said he still would repeal the ACA but that wouldn't destroy Kynect she needs to jump on it. She needs to contrast herself to McConnell at every opportunity and this is one of those times. Calling for General Shinseki to resign is a bad example of political posturing and a mistake on her part. Veterans have Shinseki's back by a big margin according to VoteVets. The problems at the VA are the result of ten years of war that McConnell advocated for and decades of chronic underfunding and understaffing. If she wanted to make a real statement in support of veterans healthcare right now she should be calling for a reintroduction of the funding bill that McConnell led the filibuster on last February for starters. Shinseki is not at fault here and I am really disappointed in her otherwise great campaign for going in that direction.

      •  I agree with that, and I was shocked she came (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobatkinson, Pilotshark

        out with that.  

        I do not know who Grimes campaign manager is - anybody?  Grimes is closely connected to, and supported by the Clintons.  Bill will be here campaigning for her as the election nears.

        "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

        by mumtaznepal on Fri May 23, 2014 at 10:03:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pres Clinton has been in KY (0+ / 0-)

          Quite a lot. Most recently he introduced her at her opening campaign fundraiser in Louisville. He always campaigns for our Dem candidate BUT Alison's Dad and the Clintons are very special long time friends.  Alison's campaign  reminds me of Pres Clinton's campaign already,

    •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Merlin1963, deepeco

      We all know the "independent" voter is a myth, if only the Democrats would figure it out!

      When we get our voters to the polls, we win.  And we don't get our voters to the polls with milquetoast, muddled messaging on how we need to "fix the problems with Obamacare."  If that's the campaign that Grimes insists on running, she isn't going to beat McConnell.

      She would be wise to embrace Obamacare and tie it to Kynect which really hasn't been done yet and I really can't figure out why Democrats are so afraid to do it.  Kentuckians like Kynect, it is popular.  And it is Obamacare.  So when McConnell says he wants to repeal Obamacare, that means that he wants to take away your Kynect healthcare!

      Grimes should be going on the offensive over this and attacking McConnell for wanting to take healthcare away from hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians.  Good healthcare that is working.  She isn't going to beat McConnell by playing it safe and hedging on Obamacare.  She has the truth on her side and a very potent weapon against McConnell if she would just frickin' embrace it!

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Sat May 24, 2014 at 07:03:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bumpersticker: Kynect = Obamacare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trkingmomoe

    Grimes needs to keep it simple and educate the voters in KY.
    The ACA, better known as Obamacare, IS Kynect.
    Those 421,000 who now have health coverage will
    lose it if Despicable Mitch gets re-elected.

    Say this over and over and over and over on highway
    billboards, bumper stickers, and yard signs.
    Let's get to work.

    •  Why doesn't the media in KY (0+ / 0-)

      write the truth about the Kynet and it's connection to the ACA?  Who owns the media in KY?  Surely there must be some journalist who take their obligation seriously?

      It is really hard to believe that Kentuckians are this clueless or hate the President so much that they keep voting against themselves.  

  •  I am a transplanted Kentucking, having only been (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sawgrass727, Wary, norbalish, djMikulec, paulex

    here 20 years or so, and what you say is absolutely true based upon my experience in the central Kentucky-Lexington environs.

    McConnell's very first ad - playing here multiple times a day -  links Grimes to "liberal Hollywood" and "Obama's liberal agenda" and "Michelle Obama revealed at a fund raiser that Obama needs Grimes"  

    It shows Grimes on a red carpet with Hollywood and the hated Obama.  And frankly, they mention the FLOTUS as the hate against her is terrible here, and the PAC's know it.

    "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

    by mumtaznepal on Fri May 23, 2014 at 09:59:20 PM PDT

    •  Apparently y'all know Kentucky politics better (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pilotshark, norbalish

      than your Democratic governor:

       "Others who would be more valuable,"Beshear said, "are Vice President Joe Biden, who recently told TIME he would campaign for Grimes if asked, and First Lady Michelle Obama."

      'The Vice President, I think has a pretty good standing with Kentuckians,' he said. 'They know him from some of his prior races as well as the work he’s done in the United States Senate and I think Vice President Biden would be a positive for her….Michelle Obama is popular everywhere. She is popular in Kentucky and I think would be a positive in Kentucky.'”

      You and the diarist are apparently reading tea leaves to support your analysis, because neither of you offer data to back up your contentions. I would be very surprised if Steve Bashear is operating based on anecdote rather than polling. If Michelle Obama is popular, the diarist's theory about racist DINO's torpedoing Obama is completely off base. Honestly, it's just a bizarre contention that racists wouldn't get it together to change their voter affiliation in 50 years. That's just a ridiculous theory. Many voters eligible to vote in 1964 would be dead by now. Dem voters may vote differently than the diarist would prefer but making up unsupported theories as to why that is doesn't get us anywhere.

    •  I Live In Lexington (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      norbalish, Wary, White Buffalo, deepeco

      I'm an unabashed liberal, i go toe to toe with teabaggers every day. I am saddened by ALG's lack of courage to run as a Democrat. Republicans play the voters here for suckers, and as "useful idiots" with lies & misinformation from coal to healthcare. ALG has the chance to run on the truth & she chooses to play the "murky positions" game. She needs to appeal to women & the younger voters, assert that she is an "independent voice for Kentucky", get rid of fathers old-white campaign managers, appear young & vital to Mc Connell's old & washed up, & she may just have a chance.

  •  GRIMES IS DOING WHAT SHE HAS TO DO (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kentucky DeanDemocrat, Wary

    Quite frankly, I'm not sure I understand the issues people have with the way in which Grimes is campaigning relative to the ACA.

    I'm certainly not privy to her true personal feelings about the healthcare law but I think it safe to say that fully embracing it while trying to unseat the Senate minority leader in a hard-core red state in which a lot of people don't know enough about it to connect it to KYnect---they think they are two different entities---just might amount to political suicide.

    She's doing what she has to do and it's a lot more credible than the blatant, straight-faced lie that Mitch McConnell told on Friday.  She is expressing some ambivalence about the ACA/KYnect but reassuring Kentuckians that, despite any ambivalence she might have, it has brought access to credible, affordable healthcare to over 400,000 Kentuckians and she's sure not going to take that away from them by proposing to repeal the law.

    What, really, is the problem?  I'm kind of impressed with the way she has handled it all along.

  •  Everything you said may be true (0+ / 0-)

    However, because of many of the reasons you listed, those Republicans and DINOs will NEVER vote for Grimes.

    Her best bet - her only play IMO - is to rally the left, and that's not going to happen if she's tip-toeing around on eggshells, trying not to offend a rightwing that will never vote for her under any circumstances.

    She has to give actual Democrats a reason to get out and vote other than not being Mitch McConnell.

    •  Thing is, though, (5+ / 0-)

      some of them will. Enough of them voted for Beshear to get him elected, and he's not exactly a leftist's dream. See also Mark Warner in Virginia - a centrist Dem with some crossover appeal. And others who might have voted for her opponent will stay home.

      There simply aren't enough of what you'd call "actual Democrats" in Kentucky to get her elected. She has to appeal to voters who aren't liberal.

  •  This really clears things up (5+ / 0-)

    about politics in KY.  It makes sense why Grimes does not pounce on all the stupidity of McConnell.  I'm hoping for the best - that Grimes unseats McConnell. Thanks for the diary.

    People act on the outside how they feel on the inside. If you acknowledge it, you can change it.

    by Raggedy Ann on Sat May 24, 2014 at 02:56:54 AM PDT

  •  Good diary! One reminder (8+ / 0-)

    On how Rand Paul 'won' ! He didn't 'win' by popularity, he won because my good friend now Attorney General,  Jack Conway THREW the election with his stupid Aqua Buddha ad!!!!!!

    Conway was up by FIVE POINTS ready to win, until he decided at LAST minute to CHANGE his message away from good message of helping Kentuckians get a fairer shot in DC to that stupid Aqua Buddha ad!!!!

    I knew it first hand I was involved in his campaign, the night of the last debate, the campaign office was all happy over this ad to be released. I happened to review the ad, called the office told them NOT to air it! BUT it was way too late!!!

    The last debate Jack had to explain what he NEW attack message was about and NOT what him winning Senate seat meant for KY!!!!!

    People in KY did NOT like any type of 'religious' attack being leveled at such a LAE time, they focus was OFF how Jack would HELP Kentuckians and instead attacking at last minute his candidate! STUPID STUPID STUPID!!!

    Jack's going to run for Gov, I will volunteer for his campaign,  I know he's best for the position! I hope that Aqua Budha ad doesn't come back to bit his!

    I swear I think Dems in KY are plagued by campaign professionals loyal to the GOP! This happens all the time, Dems have  a coherent message but THEN at last minute they change it! they fall right into the GOP TRAP every time!

    For what it's worth, that's my 2 cents :)!!!

    I only Hope and Pray Alison doesn't fall prey to that same GOP trap that ALL Dems fall into!

    •  I Was Shocked (5+ / 0-)

      when the Aqua Buddha ads ran. The Aqua Buddha is a bong ,(short, pot-bellied, has water in it). This fundamental stupidity of what the Aqua Buddha was by the Conway campaign was almost comical.

    •  I wasn't working on the campaign, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wary

      but I literally gasped when I heard that "Aqua Buddha" ad.  I knew it would backfire.  Whoever was in charge of that ad needs to get out of politics.  Dumb, dumb, DUMB.  The thing sucked all the air out of the room.

      "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

      by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Sat May 24, 2014 at 12:17:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jack Conway made the 'decision' (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kentucky DeanDemocrat

        Crit Llewellyn, his campaign manager was indisposed, so he made the decision., WITHOUT consulting her!

        I swear I think the Dems ad folks are hired to mess up the Dems campaigns, I honestly do.

        I remember the 2008 campaign the guy running against McConnell used that stupid ad about hounds chasing Mitch, Mitch was in HEAVEN on that one! It was all he needed to wipe the floor with Dem opponent.

        Mitch relishes negative ads against him, he loves getting down in the mud to wrestle

  •  McConnell's negative ratings are enough..... (6+ / 0-)

    ....to get him beat.  ALG needs to remains acceptable to as many voters as possible.  That's what she's doing.

    Let the voters dislike for Mitch be the issue while she portrays herself as strong and independent.

  •  As a Kentuckian myself (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    White Buffalo

    I disagree with a lot of what you've written.  I think that Grimes is making a mistake by not openly embracing the ACA.

    Kynect is popular in KY, and a lot of people that have signed up have not made the connection that Kynect = Obamacare.

    I think Grimes would have a far better shot at winning if she didn't try to hedge on Obamacare.  A strong, populist message about healthcare would do well even in rural KY.

    And the argument is there: McConnell is trying to take away healthcare from hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians!  He wants to take away your Kynect healthcare!

    Make no mistake, McConnell will make healthcare an issue in this campaign, and it will be a huge gift to Grimes but only if she embraces it and FIGHTS.  If she can show KY voters that she will fight for them, fight for their right to have healthcare against someone that wants to take it away from them, she could win on that issue alone.

    But I think what will be key for her is to make it as clear as possible that Kynect IS Obamacare!  I've ready a lot of stories about people signing up for Kynect and saying things like "this sure beats Obamacare!"  Too many KY voters have yet to make the connection that when Republicans, especially McConnell, want to repeal Obamacare, what they're actually saying is that they want to take away your Kynect.  They don't want you to have healthcare!  They want to go back to the days when one health emergency can ruin you financially for life.  They don't care if you get sick and die.

    That's a winning message for any Democrat including Grimes, it puts Republicans on the defensive, forcing them to explain why they want to take away your healthcare and we all know what it means in politics when you're explaining.  I, for one, am quite disappointed that Grimes isn't making that argument as forcefully as possible and putting McConnell on his heels, trying to explain to the voters why he's such a prick.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Sat May 24, 2014 at 06:52:46 AM PDT

    •  It's a trap (3+ / 0-)

      I'm not from Kentucky.  You live there are know the state a lot more than I do.

      But how can the best plan of action be "Kynect = Obamacare" when Kentucky voters love their Kynect but hate "Obamacare" with a passion?  That's what all the polls say.

      That doesn't inspire much confidence.  If/when people make the connection that Kynect is Obamacare, I'm betting that many will have a knee-jerk reaction against it.  Cognitive dissonance 101, and more times than not in those situations the response is to double down on pre-set notions rather than change your mind about something.

      If one can glean anything from polls showing "Kynect = awesome, Obamacare = the devil", it's that Kentucky voters are reflexively anti-Obama.  So the minute ALG points out that Kynect = Obamacare, it makes the race about Obama instead of about McConnell.  Not good.

      "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

      by mconvente on Sat May 24, 2014 at 08:13:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in Kentucky and I agree with you. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mconvente, Wary, mattc129

        Obama hate is catnip to the wingnuts here.  They go wild when they hear his name.  And a minority of Kentuckians have help via Obamacare - it's not enough to swing an election.  Not even close.  Obama hate COULD swing the election, particularly with the usually Democratic eastern mountain counties all a-froth about the alleged "war on coal."  Even before the "war on coal" crap, in 2008, McCain swept mountain counties who've voted Democratic since the coal company goons shot at their granddaddies during the strikes of the 1930s.  Let's not kid ourselves.  The guy's black, and this is a very, very socially conservative area.

        Economic populism is still good here, though, and Alison's arguing minimum wage increase every time she opens her mouth.  Bill Clinton is helping, and that's very good.  He's enormously popular here, winning the state twice, and Hillary buried Obama in the 2008 primary.  

        It's not easy to unseat McConnell, but Alison has a good shot.  She just needs to stay on economic issues and make sure people don't forget that they just flat don't LIKE McConnell anymore.

        "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

        by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Sat May 24, 2014 at 12:31:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why haven't (0+ / 0-)

      a lot of people that have signed up have not made the connection that Kynect = Obamacare?

  •  Quite informative. Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

    Hello from Central Kentucky, somewhere SW of Fayette County. ;-)

  •  A Google of - grimes kentucky (0+ / 0-)

    This is the response when googling  grimes kentucky

    A top shelf ad. I wonder who actually paid for it.

    Apparently the Republicans are aware of the racists among them.
  •  Grimes' reluctance... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    White Buffalo

    ...to embrace the ACA and/or associate it with Kynect - which is easy to understand if not endorse - represents an area of vulnerability that McConnell is now very cunningly exploiting. And he's done so in an audacious way: by essentially daring her to call him out on his lie.

    If she does so, it exposes that vulnerability, which can be interpreted by Kynect-supporting - but Obamacare-hating - voters as her own lie by omission.

    She's chosen to stand silently in a corner on the ACA, apparently hoping nobody would notice, and McConnell has surrounded that corner with fresh, wet paint. She now has to either remain there or damage her shoes in order to destroy his paint job.      

    •  Governor Beshear can defend Kynect for her (0+ / 0-)

      he's been doing a great job on Kynect, and hasn't shied away from saying it's Obamacare.  I saw him at the State Fair on the subject, and he was on fire, giving it straight to McConnell, who was also in attendance.

      "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

      by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Sat May 24, 2014 at 12:34:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kentucky DeanDemocrat, v2aggie2

        I can accept that endorsing the ACA or stating the obvious fact that KyNect is part of the ACA would be a trap that would doom Grimes's chances in the state, but I really don't see how she can expect to be able to duck the issue for the whole election without also looking weak, also dooming her chances.

        Does this mean that her current poll numbers are a mirage?  I mean really, what's the strategy for the debates?  How does she avoid getting carved up like a turkey?

        I suppose she must be planning to go relentlessly negative on McConnell but how?  I suppose she can say that Obama will be gone in two years and then what will McConnell have to talk about, but I can't quite see this working.  If her backer Gov. Beshear can loudly say that KyNect is Obamacare, won't she be pressured by the media into taking the same stand?

        This might force Grimes into the same sort of anti-media stance that Republicans have sometimes used to great effect.  Can that work for a Democrat?

        I'm doubtful.  It's an interesting situation and I don't know what the answer is or even if there is one.

        sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

        by stivo on Sat May 24, 2014 at 02:58:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Negative on McConnell (0+ / 0-)

          the most recent ad I saw talked about how much his net worth had increased since he'd gone to Washington.  LOL.  That'll cause a lot of suspicion right there.  She's painting him as an elitist fat cat - always political dynamite in Kentucky, and dynamite the Democrats used to OWN.

          Happy Chandler once gave a rabble rousing speech about a state dinner Barkley had attended - he described the prissy menu course by course, with fine scorn.  Never drive a better car than your constituents do.

          "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

          by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Sat May 24, 2014 at 08:45:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Adjust the title to spell McConnell's name (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    White Buffalo

    correctly. This makes us look a little sharper on the ball.

  •  Last night on Comment on Kentucky (0+ / 0-)

    Al Cross stated Grimes had finally jumped the shark and adopted McConnell's "war on coal" language.

    This morning she took the offensive on major TV stations by touting her willingness to work with Republicans (ACK!)

    I get it she's trying to kick off the general by putting McConnell on the defensive but if you take her literally she may not even be trustworthy on judges unless they're EPA haters.

    She's making this really tough.

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