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Mitch McConnell, Amy McGrath and the challenge for a seat in the Kentucky Senate

Democrats have been trying to get Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Mitch McConnell) elected for years, but they have been unable to do so.

The challenges they face include the conservative bias of Kentucky and McConnell’s solid support base. By emphasizing that the funding he was able to bring back to the Kentucky Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, and emphasizing how his prominent position is beneficial to national projects, McConnell also achieved his re-election and continues to resonate with many voters. Case.

According to a recent poll by Mason-Dixon, McConnell led the Democratic challenger and former fighter pilot Amy McGrath to increase from 51

% to 42 %, this gap still exists in the eyes of experts. Anne Cizmar, a professor of government at Eastern Kentucky University, told Vox: “I describe this game as arousing a lot of media and public interest, but it’s actually not competitive.”

McGrath is McConnell’s latest challenger. McConnell has been in office for 36 years, and his leadership role has become synonymous with hindering democratic legislation and judicial candidates. Last year, he gladly accepted the title of “Reaper” from the House Democratic Bill. In October, after refusing to consider the 2016 Barack Obama nominee Merrick Garland (Merrick Garland), he hurriedly passed the Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett (Amy Coney). Barrett’s confirmation.

Amy McGrath speaks at a restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky in October. McGrath’s goal is to defeat McConnell in the 2020 election.
Jon Cherry/Getty Images

As part of the campaign, McGrath called for McConnell’s role in the “swamp” and raised amazing funds, which allowed her to advertise widely in the state. She also asked McConnell for help. Even though he prioritized Barrett’s nomination, why did McConnell still impose stimulus on millions of Kentucky people dealing with unemployment and business closures?

Despite McGrath’s fundraising acumen, Kentucky’s conservatism makes any challenge to the top leader of the Republican Party very difficult. In 2016, President Donald Trump won Kentucky by a staggering 30 percentage points, while McConnell won 16 percentage points in the 2014 Senate race.

Jessica Taylor of the Cook Political Report said: “I think any Democratic candidate is very difficult.” “Kentucky is still a conservative state at the federal level.”

Kentucky’s guerrilla lean makes it difficult for the statewide campaign to win the Democratic Party

In 2019, Andy Beshear defeated the current Matt Bevin as governor, winning a major victory for the Democratic Party. Experts warn that Beshear’s victory involves unique circumstances, which may not mean that the state continues to transition to Democrats.

On the one hand, Bevin is disgusted by Democrats and some Republicans. Bevin is a violent politician who cuts teachers’ pensions and medical assistance. His actions have caused widespread protests, including several teacher strikes. At the same time, Beshear has portrayed himself as an ally of educators and a gentle substitute for the incumbent. Since his father served as governor, he has also benefited from the strong reputation of the state.

Jim Clinger, a professor of political science at Murray State University, said: “The election of Beshear was a bit abnormal because he had a Republican in office, which annoyed many people, including the Republican Party. ”

Although McConnell has a fairly high disapproval rate also, he is not disliked in exactly the same way-especially Republicans, one of whom McGrath needs to win over the Senate seat segment. Even Republicans, who may not be loyal supporters of McConnell, are aware of the importance of maintaining seats to keep Republicans in the Senate, not to mention the benefits McConnell has brought to the state.

McConnell’s opposition rate as the leader of Congress is high, but Republicans in Kentucky are still supporting him.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republican strategist Tres Watson said: “To transform a state like Kentucky from a Senate majority leader to a back seat Democrat, there will be hundreds of billions of dollars to choose from.”

McConnell has repeatedly pointed out that the funding provided to Kentucky is proof of his influence in the Senate: In December 2019, he brought back $1 billion in federal funds for regional projects, including tax breaks and exemptions for wineries. Funds for military construction.

Saundra Ardrey, a political science professor at Western Kentucky University, said: “His leadership in Kentucky resonates.”

McConnell also has a buffer to support other Republican senators (especially those in fierce competition) that they don’t: how conservative Kentucky has become. Across the country, some moderate voters have rejected Trump and Senate candidates who align with Trump and the senator, competing for the Democratic Party in Arizona, Iowa, and even South Carolina. However, in Kentucky, it is expected that the Republican Party’s firm support for McConnell will still exceed the potential modest loss.

D. Stephen Voss, a professor of political science at the University of Kentucky, said: “This started in a very Republican place, so even after the transition, there is no hope for the Democrats here.”

This momentum is also evident in other races: Republican Senator Rand Paul won the game by 15 points in 2016, and five of the state’s six House districts are currently held by Republicans. Trump may not win another 30 points, but he is still expected to maintain his lead in the state. Many voters who support Trump as president are likely to return to McConnell as well, although McGrath tried to target some of them.

McGrath benefits from strong fundraising activities

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, as of October, McGrath has been a strong fundraiser, raising $88 million, while McConnell has raised $55 million. The funding allowed the campaign to run a wide range of advertising, highlighting McGrath’s biography as a Marine Corps fighter pilot and her position as a centrist Democrat.

As reported by Ella Nilsen of Vox, McGrath established her own rebellion capabilities in 2018, when she posted a viral advertisement on her website, highlighting her two decades of service in the Marine Corps and winning the state The main candidate for a seat in the House of Representatives in the sixth district. In the 2020 Senate election, Democrats regarded McGrath’s ideological positioning and veteran status as important assets to succeed McConnell.

McGrath at a rally in Louisville on October 27th.
Jon Cherry/Getty Images

A major urgent challenge presented by progressive state Rep. Charles Booker shows that her more moderate attitude has not resonated with some voters. In the primary and general elections, McGrath’s campaign was undermined by a number of mistakes, including chaotic political positions.

She said that in 2019, she will vote to confirm the Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and then quickly change her position. During Booker’s primary election, he criticized her for her initial response to protests against racism and police brutality. Booker has since approved McGrath (McGrath) to participate in the general election, she also issued a plan to promote racial justice, which includes provisions aimed at reducing the gap between rich and poor between black and white families.

McGrath also emphasized the need to protect the Affordable Care Act. Moreover, she has been approving more coronavirus stimulus measures for families and businesses in distress-McConnell plays a central role in slowing down because he will prioritize Barrett’s confirmation To the Supreme Court.

Ryan Aquilina, executive director of the Ditch Mitch Fund, said his organization hopes McGrath can win dissatisfaction by electing Democratic Christian voters and overturning moderate Republican voters. His organization has also been trying to expand McConnell’s advantage by engaging with conservative voters, who may think Republican senators are not conservative enough for them. (Liberal Brad Barron also participated in the competition.)

Experts say that McGrath’s campaign is more targeted, and the recent debates are also encouraging. Democrats want support in the suburbs of major cities including Louisville and Lexington, just like Beshear did in 2019. According to McGrath’s campaign, she has received strong support among young voters, black voters and women so far.

However, the effort to flip the seat is still difficult. “We knew we were losers from the beginning,” Aquilina said.

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