I know, on paper this campaign race looks like it belongs firmly in the yeah, right. When pigs fly column. But when you scratch below the surface a little, and look at the personalities and dynamics of the race, the McGrath-McConnell race for Kentucky Senate is anything but a lock. On the one hand you have “Moscow” Mitch McConnell, the Methuselah of the Senate. McConnell has been befouling the halls of the Capitol since Christ was a carpenter. But every step McConnell has taken from the day he gave his first campaign speech has been with the sole purpose of gaining more power. And the more power McConnell has accumulated, the more aloof, arrogant, and authoritarian he has gotten. But there are signs that McConnell’s run may be coming to an end. In his home state of Kentucky, polling shows that he is no more popular than recent GOP Governor Matt Bevin, who lost his posh seat in 2019, despite being a slavish Trump supporter, and despite an election eve visit from Glorious Bleater himself. And both polling as well as media interviews are showing that more and more Kentuckians are feeling that, like a Twinkie, McConnell has passed his 120 year shelf life. But his worst mistake may have been his craven abuse of his power. McConnell personally engineered and rammed through the Senate an exemption that freed up the funds for Putin oligarch Oleg Deripaska from American sanctions. And wadda ya know? Mere weeks later, Deripaska announces that he’s building a shiny new aluminum processing plant in Kentucky. Polling in Kentucky at the time showed that many Kentucky patriots, especially in the coal counties, were not pleased with their senior Senator playing footsies with Putin’s pet. And on the other side is Amy McGrath, a retired Lt. Colonel US Marine fighter pilot. Like so many other motivated Americans of 2018, McGrath waged a strong grassroots campaign for a US House seat in 2018, but lost so narrowly that the race wasn’t even called on election night. But McGrath’s feisty performance in that race gave her something more valuable than a House seat, statewide name recognition. In a time when Americans are more disgusted than ever with politics as usual, McGrath is everything that McConnell is not. Straightforward, dignified, honorable, and no bullshit. While the campaign is somewhat stymied by the coronavirus, the McGrath campaign is volunteering and donating to local causes helping to mitigate the damage of the virus on Kentuckians. More importantly than that, somebody at Team McGrath obviously had their brain Wheaties for breakfast. While McGrath is running a strong grassroots campaign, with mainly small money donors, her campaign realized something early on. She is running against a nationally reviled figure, so why not use his own notoriety against him? Starting early in her campaign, McGrath began airing ads nationwide, not just in Kentucky. The first couple of ads were highly inspirational, a kind of introduction to the country, while the last one I saw is a scathing indictment of McConnell and his tactics. Like her fellow campaigner in South Carolina, Jamie Harrison, who is running against the inexcusable “Leningrad” Lindsey Graham, these candidates are using their opponent’s reputations against them. Full Disclosure. I’m a biweekly donor myself, to both of them. And apparently the strategy is meeting with some success. In […]
Keep those cards and letters coming! Old time radio show sign off As a lot you regulars know, since October Teri and I have been engaged in what we whimsically refer to as our twice monthly “tithing,” tossing a cookie first to Amy Klobuchar and now Joe Biden, as well as Amy McGrath, Mark Kelly, and Jamie Harrison. And if you donate like we do, you quickly learn that politicians are like your child’s new puppy, the minute you give them a treat, they follow you all over the house, yapping and doing tricks trying to get another nummer. Actually, I kind of get a kick out of their text blasts. Sometimes they’re whimsical. For instance, every time you get a Biden text, it says From Team Biden. Hey Folks, this is Joe. Ole Biden actually writes all of his own texts, instead of some 22 year old e-geek that never gets laid. But the nice thing about Biden texts is that they are very opinion driven. Almost every text has a link at the bottom that takes you to some form or another of questionnaire that asks your opinion on specific topics. It’s nice to know that even if they’re not constantly getting money, they are getting opinions to help to drive their messaging. But the ones I like the most are the ones from the Senatorial candidates. I prefer these because, although we donate to the candidates, we don’t live in those states, and they tend to provide some helpful information on how the campaign is going that we can’t necessarily pick up from national media coverage. Amy McGrath’s last e-mail newsletter is a perfect example. In it, she led off with some bad news, namely that Moscow Mitch McConnell just had his best single quarter fundraising haul of his political career, raising something like $7.1 million. But on the bright side, McFrath left Yertl the Turtle in the mud, posting a healthy $12.7 million haul for the quarter. While I’m sure that McConnell’s Super PAC’s are overflowing, it’s nice to know that McGrath is remaining competitive in fundraising, and it looks like her national ads may be helping. Jamie Harrison is a real chatterbox. And it was all good news. First, his campaign just passed the 500,000 mark in terms of individual donors, so both he and McGrath are grassroots fundraising campaigns. Second, while Leningrad Lindsey Graham had a nice haul in the quarter, Jamie out raised him as well. And in the last month, Harrison has cited two different polls, one showing him +6 against Graham, and the other +4. The name of the poll(s) was not given. A quick word about polling. Most people are suspicious if a candidates campaign releases the results of an internal poll showing rosy results, figuring the poll was skewed that way. My experience shows that to be wrong. If a candidates campaign manager graduated from Kindercare, the last thing they need is a dishonest poll. How does a candidate know what message is resonating, and what isn’t, how to fine tune his messaging, or where he needs to go if the data isn’t legitimate? I’ve found that while the results might be a shade to the sunny side, the results are normally within the margin of error for a normal poll. But the important takeaway from the […]
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