On election day 654,344 Kentuckians cast ballots in the 2019 Kentucky Primary. This is the most in a primary from this century (I looked at 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, and yesterday’s data). The year with the closest voters to yesterday was 2007 for the gubernatorial election that ended in S. Beshear vs Fletcher and resulted in Republican Incumbent Ernie Fletcher being unseated. First, comparing Fletcher and Bevin is like comparing apples and hand grenades, so this shouldn’t indicate some type of correlation with a perceived victory in November. We still have, and I say this as nicely as possible, A LOT OF WORK TO DO.
If you combine the 2015 and 2011 Primary ballot totals together, roughly 35,119 fewer ballots were cast yesterday. Yes, that’s right. The total of ballots yesterday is just 35K fewer than the two previous primaries combined.
This year, 134,636 more Democrats showed up at polling locations. The fact that more Democrats voted is not surprising as, technically, Democrats are the largest party in Kentucky, though we do not have a majority thanks to third party and independent registrations. In all the primaries I looked at, more Democrats voted in every one except 2015. In 2015, 35,652 more Republicans cast ballots. This isn’t surprising because the Democrat Primary was Jack Conway versus Perennial Candidate Geoff Young. The Republian Primary in 2015 was far more competitive and included James Cormer and Hal Heiner. Compared to that 2015 Primary, Bevin actually nearly doubled his votes, but the votes cast for Beshear more than doubled the votes cast for Bevin in 2015, in fact adding an additional 8,478 votes to a doubled 2015 Bevin total.
Again, none of this is a call for complacency. It’s a call to action. We have 31 counties that looked at Bevin and said NOPE when given the option of Goforth. For many of those counties, their public school system is the number one employer. Read that again. I didn’t say one of their biggest, I said their number one employer. While JCPS is an often targeted county for charters, choice, and privatization, these type of bills would catastrophically damage those counties. Jackson, Johnson, Garrard, Bell, Leslie, Estill, McCreary, Lawrence, Martin, Lee, Owlsey, Pulaski, Whitley, Pike, Clay, Laurel, Knox, Monroe, Carter, Wayne, Harlan, Edmonson, Lewis, Letcher, Clinton, Magoffin, Cumberland, Russell, Ohio, Allen, and Rockcastle all said no to Bevin. We need to ask them why. We need to all work together.
Elections are not won in a day or a week or a month. They are won over grueling hours and long, hard days. And we are going to have to WORK. It’s time to look into volunteering or donating to Beshear. If you don’t like him, you need to get over it. Sorry for being blunt, but there is too much on the line. It is a budget year in 2020. We need the legislators in Frankfort to understand we will all unite behind someone. We need to show we are past apathy and willing to work together. United we stand, divided we fall. They are counting on division. Let’s show them what we look like.
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