Don’t Waste Your Vote on McConnell

Matt Bevin Loses to Mitch McConnell

One of the biggest disappointments of the Republican primary was Matt Bevin’s loss to fifth term senator Mitch McConnell. Statewide, with almost all precincts reporting, McConnell had 60 percent of the vote to Bevin's 36 percent, with three other Republicans taking the rest. He even beat Bevin 48.7 percent to 47.8 percent in Boone County, a tea party stronghold that looked to be the most likely for Bevin to win (McConnell bests tea party, but now needs them, 2014). Not only did Bevin not win Boone County, he only won two counties statewide, Scott and Pendleton, and those he only won by a few votes. In Scott County, Bevin won 1,752 votes to 1,707 votes; in on Pendleton he won 359 to 348 (Top five surprises in Tuesday’s Senate primary, 2014).

Poor Voter Turnout may have been a Factor

Part of the reason Bevin did so poorly in Northern Kentucky may have been its historically low voter turnout, a fact often lamented by local politicians who cite it as a reason why the region gets ignored by leaders statewide. The NKY Tea Party strenuously attempted to energize their base and exhort Republicans to get out and vote to no avail (KY Republicans Must Participate in the Upcoming Primary, 2014). Boone County, where Bevin set up shop and visited almost every week of the campaign, had the second lowest turnout of Kentucky's 120 counties at 16.94 percent, according to the Secretary of State. Voters in Kenton and Campbell counties didn't come out in much greater numbers, with turnouts of 17.85 percent and 20.35 percent respectively (Top five surprises in Tuesday’s Senate primary, 2014).

Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project Close Ranks Behind McConnell

While many of Bevin's supporters before the election expressed doubt that they would support McConnell in the General Election, some of the tea party-backed groups that supported Bevin threw their support behind McConnell after the primary. Both the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project that supported Bevin issued statements after the primary calling for unity behind McConnell (Top five surprises in Tuesday’s Senate primary, 2014). The Senate Conservatives Fund, which backed Bevin, put out a news release urging Republicans to close ranks behind McConnell.

"Now it's time for Republicans to unite for victory in November," Executive Director Matt Hoskins said in the release (McConnell bests tea party, but now needs them, 2014).

Local Republican leaders, even those who supported Bevin, said they would unite behind McConnell (McConnell bests tea party, but now needs them, 2014).

The Residents of Kentucky were the Real Losers

Unfortunately the residents of Kentucky were the real losers in the Republican primary. Currently our national debt is over $18 trillion and fiscal restraint is nowhere in sight. Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA), “War on Coal,” that began under McConnell’s watch and will continue regardless of whether McConnell or Alison Lundergan Grimes wins the election, will result in large swathes of unemployment in the economically depressed region of Eastern KY and higher utility bills for KY consumers (Why Senate control could hinge on Democratic opposition to the ‘war on coal,’, 2014). The residents of NKY will have to continue to fight tolling as a funding option for a new Brent Spence Bridge in the General Assembly since McConnell insists the issue won’t be decided in Washington (McConnell tells Rotarians make change at ballot box, 2014). At least Grimes is opposed to tolling (Grimes’ opposition to tolls popular among Covington crowd on Sunday, 2014). Finally Obamacare will continue to be crammed down the throats of Kentucky residents because McConnell won’t stand up to the Obama administration (McConnell Won’t Block Vote on Bill to Defund Obamacare, 2013).

Do We Really Want to Vote for McConnell?

Recent polling showed McConnell might struggle to win over Bevin supporters by November. A Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll released Sunday showed only 39 percent of Bevin voters would support McConnell. And of the 61 percent of Bevin voters who wouldn't support McConnell, 25 percent said they would cross party lines to vote against McConnell, the Courier-Journal reported (McConnell bests tea party, but now needs them, 2014). It doesn’t sound like Bevin supporters want to vote for McConnell in the general election.

I for one will not vote for Mitch McConnell. His track record as a Senator has been abysmal (KY Republicans Must Participate in the Upcoming Primary, 2014). My advice to the registered voters of Kentucky is to vote for candidates that they won’t regret supporting after the elections. I urge all KY voters to look for alternatives. I’m going to vote for Libertarian candidate Dave Patterson for U.S. Senate.

These alternatives are not limited to national elections. In the Boone County judge-executive race Libertarian J. Kyle Sweeney and Independent Pat Wingo have filed letters of intent to run in November, but each has until early August to officially enter the race (Kenton County gets new leader: Kris Knochelmann, 2014). When you vote for the lesser of two evils, you are still voting for evil.