The big news here for me is that Coal Country swung MASSIVELY to the left, even compared to the overall statewide swing. if I had seen those numbers out of Eastern Kentucky without seeing anything else, I would've thought Beshear won statewide by double digits. I also can't help but laugh at people who were saying that Beshear would get massive improvements out of the suburbs and urban areas while still losing statewide because of "racist hicks" in rural Kentucky. In reality, those rural counties were arguably more responsible for Beshear's win than the urban areas, because even with the numbers Beshear got out of Lexington, Louisville, and the Cincinnati suburbs, he still would have been blown out statewide if Bevin had done anywhere even close to as well as Trump 2016 or Congressional Republicans last year did in the rurals. Bevin really collapsed across the board, and I guess that's proof that approval ratings still trump polarization, at least in this case.
I don't think Mississippi being (relatively) competitive in certain statewide elections has that much to do with Trump, TBH.Interestingly, between Jim Hood getting the best voteshare for a Democrat in a statewide election in Mississippi in 20 years (even better than both Haley Barbour's narrow loss in 2003 and Mike Espy in the Senate special election last year) the Dems' statewide prospects in Mississippi seem at least on the surface to be on the up and up since Trump's election, even if they keep having near-misses and are still significantly behind in terms of registered voters. I'm not sure whether it's simply a matter of having good candidates (which I'm skeptical of, especially given Espy had been pretty much out of politics for 24 years when he ran for the Senate) or the vote in the African-American majority counties being energized against Trump, but it'll be very interesting to see whether it collapses or continues to build until the Dems can win statewide elections here in the future.
That's very true, and it's kinda interesting given how in most of the rest of the country Democrats have won against the odds because of margins in suburban areas and done really poorly in rural areas. I'd be curious whether this is because of unionized workers, backlash to Bevin causing people to turn out for Beshear or something else specific to Coal Country?The big news here for me is that Coal Country swung MASSIVELY to the left, even compared to the overall statewide swing.
That explains why those northeastern counties were so close, I was wondering about that.Hood did so well because he's a state institution and was able to peel off a decent number of white voters in Northeastern Mississippi, and possibly elsewhere, who wouldn't have gone for a generic Democrat.
Oh really? I know he was just under 10 points away from winning in 2012 but I didn't realize that was the case too. It'll definitely be interesting to see if that is the case or if young whites continue to be both politically engaged and monolithically Republican, in which case the Dems probably won't be able to make as many inroads as that but otherwise I can believe they would.In any case, if current demographic trends continue, Mississippi will probably be a Democratic state in the relatively near future, as older whites (who are obviously overwhelmingly Republican) die off and the black % of the population slowly but surely increases. I believe Obama actually would have won the state in 2012 if you removed the 65+ vote.
With regards to why Beshear did so well in Eastern Kentucky, all I can figure is that those poor rural whites finally decided to vote their economic interests, likely because Bevin has made a big issue out of reversing the Medicaid expansion, and Beshear ran on an economically populist platform and didn't emphasize social issues much. overall Bevin lost because of his general unpopularity, but that alone wouldn't explain the swings in Coal Country.
The D+19 poll had a bunch of methodological errors and was a massive outlier. Most polls showed a tossup race.Much as there's been talk about how significant this is for the Dems, I honestly think it might not be quite as good an omen as some hope given Andy Beshear had a lead of almost 20 points a couple of weeks before the election, and the fact that it was this close even with a highly unpopular incumbent Republican and a Democratic nominee whose dad was the last Governor but one (especially compared to his dad winning the governorship in similar circumstances by 17 points in 2007), so it's very likely that the reports of Mitch McConnell's defeat have been greatly exaggerated.
On a side note, more encouraging for the Dems is that it's a dramatic swing from Trump's win in 2016 (16.1% by my calculations), the fact that Trump coming to campaign for Bevin and Bevin trying to tie the race to impeachment didn't stop them winning, and the fact that Kentucky is the most Trump-voting state they've won a statewide contest in since he was elected, even moreso than Alabama. So maybe not quite the best news Dems could have gotten, but certainly encouraging for them nonetheless.
Ah, true. I just checked the polls on the Wikipedia page again and the latest one was R+5, so I guess it's not such bad news, just a sign the state has swung rightward overall since 2011.The D+19 poll had a bunch of methodological errors and was a massive outlier. Most polls showed a tossup race.
Beshear also made excellent use of Rocky Adkins in Eastern Kentucky/coal country; Adkins swept the area in the primary but swiftly endorsed Beshear when he lost and spent basically every day telling voters in his region they needed to vote for Beshear, and cut an ad or two that were run out there. That freed Beshear up to campaign in the urban/suburban counties he desperately needed to turn out and swing in his direction to have a prayer. Sometimes smart campaigning means you use your surrogates instead of yourself where you're weak, not just in addition!With regards to why Beshear did so well in Eastern Kentucky, all I can figure is that those poor rural whites finally decided to vote their economic interests, likely because Bevin has made a big issue out of reversing the Medicaid expansion, and Beshear ran on an economically populist platform and didn't emphasize social issues much. overall Bevin lost because of his general unpopularity, but that alone wouldn't explain the swings in Coal Country.
And with regards to young whites in Mississippi, if I'm not mistaken they're far more Democratic than older whites - now whether that trend will continue or not remains to be seen, of course. even if young whites start voting like old whites, the state will still go Democratic in a couple decades or so once the non-white share of the electorate is closer to a majority, unless Republicans make dramatic gains with rural African-Americans, which I suppose could happen if we see college-educated whites become a Solidly Democratic group, but it's too soon to say.