Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Is Kentucky the Next Ohio?

Bookmark and Share

The state of Ohio has been an elusive target for Democrats during the last two presidential elections. The Democratic Party is optimistic about its chances there in 2008, and the 2006 elections points to clear dissatisfaction among the Buckeye State's electorate with the Republican Party. In last November's election:

* Democrats won back the Governor's mansion (in the midst of a GOP scandal)
* Democrats picked up one U.S. Senate seat
* Democrats picked up one U.S. House seat
* Democrats picked up one State Senate seat
* Democrats picked up six State House seats

Like Ohio, Democrats also experienced a mild renaissance in 2006 in the neighboring state of Kentucky:

* Democrats picked up 1 U.S. House seat
* Democrats picked up 4 State House seats
* Democrats picked up 2 State Senate seats

Next week, Kentuckians will go to the ballot to elect their next governor, and Republican incumbent Ernie Fletcher is down by nearly 25 points in the latest polling to Democrat Steve Beshear (SurveyUSA, October 27-29).

Equally alarming to Republicans is that the job approval ratings of both GOP Senators, Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning, are below 50 percent. McConnell is on the ballot in 2008 and was not originally thought to be vulnerable to an upset, given his powerful position in the Senate, but the Senator currently has a 49 percent job approval rating (SurveyUSA, October 2007). Bunning won his Senate races in 1998 and 2004 by a combined 2 points, and only has a 46 percent approval rating.

Bill Clinton won both Ohio and Kentucky in 1992 and 1996—the former by a combined 8 points and the latter by a combined 4 points. In matchup polls in Ohio, Hillary Clinton currently leads Rudy Giuliani (2 points), Fred Thompson (6 points), Mitt Romney (9 points), and Mike Huckabee (16 points), and is tied with John McCain (SurveyUSA, October 2007).

In Kentucky, Hillary Clinton is leading Giuliani (2 points), Romney (9 points), and Huckabee (10 points), but trails McCain (4 points) and Thompson (2 points) (SurveyUSA, October 2007).

Everything being equal, Republicans still hold an advantage in both of these states, but if Ohio leans Democratic in 2008 as it did in 2006, do not be surprised if Kentucky does the same.

Previous post: The Huckabee Surge Is Real
Next post: Presidential Politics in Iowa: A Historical Overview

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting