Kentucky is about to give us a major test of Biden’s unpopularity

Andy Beshear must prove to win a second term next week that the Democratic Party in places such as the Eastern Kentucky Coalfields is not dead.

He needs to do this with the unpopular Joe Biden at the White House.

Beshear was elected for the first time in 2019. He outperformed every national party. The biggest difference was in the hills of Hazard. Biden lost the county seat in Perry County by 54 percentages points in 2020. Beshear only lost it by 9 the year before.

Beshear’s bus tour made a stop in this state on its last swing. Beshear’s bus tour stopped by on its final swing through the state this week.

They don’t want me talking about it.

The “campaign experts” tell me not to talk about abortion. They say it’s “too divisive.” “Just focus on the economy.” But I can’t stay silent. The lives of the preborn matter to me just as much today as before Roe was overturned! I’m Pastor Micah Beckwith. If you want leaders in our government that will protect the preborn, then help me win today!

They don’t want me talking about it.
1776 Coalition Sponsored

“I love this county’s people.” Beshear said to the crowd, “I love the people in this region.” “I will keep all of the promises that I have made to you.”

Beshear is liked by the locals. They really hate the president. It’s not surprising that Beshear’s Republican opponent, State Attorney General Daniel Cameron is trying desperately to convince conservative voters to channel disapproval towards national Democrats by turning the race into an proxy for Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Democrats have repeatedly invoked Trump’s spectre to motivate their base and defeat GOP Candidates in blue states. Republicans hope that Biden’s unpopularity in these places will help them.

“I’m sure there are a lot people here who want to ensure that we remove Joe Biden from the White House. Cameron’s final appeal in his six-minute campaign speech is to remove Andy Beshear.

On television, the Republican strategy of linking Beshear with Biden is readily apparent. A few months back, GOP ads continued to attack Beshear’s policies on crime and gender. It’s now almost exclusively Biden and Trump. In a 30-second ad, the Republican Governors Association has spliced a clip where Biden acknowledges Beshear four times at a bridge dedication. This week, a super PAC that supports Cameron released an ad featuring a video endorsement by Trump. In the video, Trump says Beshear’s endorsement of Biden is “about as bad as it can get.”

Michael Adams, the Republican Secretary of State who is campaigning for Cameron as well as seeking a second-term next week, said: “You have two completely different strategies.” “Beshear is using a traditional strategy, which is to hold your base while reaching out to the middle. The strategy of the Attorney General is more focused on mobilizing bases. Both have precedents to back up their respective approaches.

Next week’s Kentucky fight will give us a glimpse into the political climate of 2024. It could also force both parties to confront a confusing moment in politics. Biden’s numbers in the polls have fallen to new lows, but Democrats have performed better than Republicans this year.

Beshear’s win in 2024 would indicate that the president and his political party are more powerful than they appear on paper. A Cameron win would indicate that the country has become even more polarized. The antipathy towards Biden, which is driving many Republican voters to vote for Cameron, is also a motivating factor.

Beshear does not mention national politics at any of the events he speaks at in this heavily Republican state. He admits to his party membership, but says he will and has adopted a bipartisan strategy on issues at the state level, such as local education, infrastructure, and the economy. He hopes to fend off Cameron’s efforts to nationalize the race.

Beshear, addressing reporters at an event for his campaign, said: “He is trying to confuse the people and make them believe that this race is for president.” “It’s not.”

Rocky Adkins was Beshear’s introduction at each of the stops on his Eastern Kentucky Tour. Adkins is a former state rep who finished second in Beshear’s primary run for 2019 and joined Beshear’s administration as a senior advisor. Adkins, who ran as a conservative opponent to abortion rights in the primary election, is still a major draw in Eastern Kentucky. He works the rooms in the voting booths and takes nearly as many selfies and photos with voters as Governor Beshear.

Adkins stated in an interview that the other side was trying to make it a race centered around Washington, D.C. “I don’t think it will work because of this governor’s job performance. He’s well-liked. He’s produced. He has produced. “He’s done it using common sense.”

Cameron and the Republicans must overcome that image. Beshear is still well liked despite being a Democrat living in a state Trump took by 26 points in the 2020 election. Morning Consult’s quarterly ratings of gubernatorial performance showed that between July and September this year, 60 percent of Kentucky voters – including 43 percent Republicans – had a favorable impression of Beshear’s job performance.

Biden, however, won only 36 percent of the votes in Kentucky in 2020. He’s also become less popular in recent years. This opened the door for Republicans.

Adams, the Secretary of State, said that his campaign recently commissioned an opinion poll which found that Kentucky Republicans weren’t connected to the statewide election, suggesting they should be more active in national politics.

“They are watching Fox News.” “They’re tuned out of state and local issues and are focused on Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan and Donald Trump,” said Adams.

National polarization has become a major obstacle for candidates on the lower ballots, whose chances to stand apart from their partisan label have rapidly diminished. Over time, fewer and fewer governors run states that support the opposing party in presidential election.

Beshear’s loss next week would leave only seven governors of the party who lost the presidential election in 2020 in their state, and two would be Democrats. In the next two-year period, Republicans could lose two blue-state governorships to states becoming more blue: New Hampshire Governor. Chris Sununu will retire next year and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s term ends in November. 2025.)

Beshear has a more difficult task than most of his colleagues. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, who is a Republican and leads a state that Biden won in 2020 by 35 points, is an outlier when compared to the partisan bias of his state.

Beshear will nod his head in the direction of bipartisanship at any opportunity he has. He echoed well-honed talking points when he answered reporters’ questions on running as a Democrat for Kentucky.