I can't say that I was surprised by most of the results. I had said that Carroll Hubbard was the only shot the Democrats had of picking up a Senate seat but he went down in defeat. I had worked for Hubbard in the Primary but did not have the chance to work for our Senate candidates in the Fall. The infinite wisdom of the Kentucky Democrat Party required that out of state consultants come in to help our Senate candidates. With that said I can't say that my efforts would have guaranteed a victory but I would have done a few things different.
I felt strongly that Trigg and Lyon counties were going to be the swing vote and all resources needed to be there. Most Hubbard folks felt confident he would do well in Calloway but I never believed that for a moment. In the end, Hubbard lost not only Calloway but also his home county of Graves along with Trigg and Lyon.
In the effort to take back the 9th District which was Jim Bruce's seat we failed. Keeping in mind that our own polling showed that we began the race over 34 points down in July. The planets were going to have to be lined up and for a while we thought they were. Sen. McConnell and Congressman Whitfield had not involved themselves in the race and hopes were high that with a Conservative nominee we would be able to have a shot at winning. In Christian County, African-American voters never got excited about Obama, go figure. Per our County Court Clerk, Mike Kem, our African American vote was not any larger than it was four years ago or even eight years ago. It is sad to say but many of the white Democrat voters sat home because they were not willing to vote for Obama. Dr. Calhoun's case in the 9th District, he had run in 2006 and did poorly while only receiving 34.7% of the vote in a losing effort in the Primary.
I was not surprised by any of the results in Western Kentucky or across Kentucky for that matter. The Democrat Party became a Party of Louisville and Lexington a long time ago. I am not hopeful nor probably should I be that this will change anytime soon nor should anyone have any real expectation of things getting any better for the Democrats in Rural Kentucky. As I have said many times on this site, the Republicans went to far to the Right and the Democrats went to far to the left, and when that happens it will always benefit the Republicans more than the Democrats. We have become a Party run by outsiders who have absolutely no understanding of Rural Kentucky. Until we close our doors to the outside consultants and DNC folks and make a real grassroots effort to rebuild the Party with Kentucky issues then things will never change.
Rebuilding means doing things from the bottom up not the top down. Only and only when the majority of middle class Kentuckians and rural politicians feel comfortable that they have a voice and a strong connection to the KDP will things turn around. I have listened to everyone since 1984 say "when things get bad enough people will come home to the Democrats". Ain't gonna happen folks. Obama was right, they ain't trading in their Bible and guns for money, opportunity or progress.
Change like progress must come from the inside out, not the outside in for places like Rural Kentucky and the South. Democrats in Kentucky must focus their efforts on developing and pursuing issues that our important to Rural Kentucky. Until we get the farmers, veterans, military and the white middle class families that go to church on Sunday back in the Party then expect to have many more election nights in Kentucky like the one we just had.
Addressing the issues of jobs, education and health care has not and will not bring enough people around to make a difference for Kentucky Democrats. We will need leadership that understands that the DNC is not the answer to our problems. We must go our own way in rebuilding a Party. We must find common ground on certain issues and agree to disagree on others. We must convince not only the people but our elected officials to get back in the game. We will only achieve success by making real changes that convince Rural Kentucky that the Democrat Party can govern for the better and at the same time pose no threat to their culture, traditions and values. And thats all I have to say about that.