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-   -   McConnell vs. McGrath for Kentucky Senate seat! (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=878458)

Snowboarder Bo 07-09-2019 10:03 AM

McConnell vs. McGrath for Kentucky Senate seat!
 
Mitch McConnell has a challenger! And she's actually got a shot at this, IMO.
Quote:

Amy McGrath, a Marine combat aviator who narrowly lost a House race to an incumbent Republican in Kentucky, has set her sights on an even more formidable target: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McGrath, whose campaign announcement video in her House race showcased the viral power of social media to raise money and national profile, said Tuesday she will be trying to defeat one of the most entrenched officials in Washington in McConnell. But she sees him as vulnerable because of his lengthy tenure in Washington, his stance on health care and his taut allegiance to the policies of President Donald Trump.

Quote:

McGrath, 44, will almost certainly be able to raise enough money to mount a serious challenge to McConnell, 77, but she is still a decided underdog in a state that has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since Wendell Ford in 1992.

“I’ve been always somebody who stepped up to the plate when asked, when I felt like my country needed me, and this is one of those times,” McGrath said in an interview.

She is attempting to repeat her viral moment with a new video, one that leans hard on idealism while also attacking McConnell as the embodiment of a dysfunctional Washington.

“I felt like somebody needs to stand up to him,” McGrath said.

BobLibDem 07-09-2019 10:13 AM

Certainly an uphill fight in a ruby red state but she has as good a chance as anyone to oust McTurtle. As in every race that counts, it all comes down to Democratic turnout.

RTFirefly 07-09-2019 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobLibDem (Post 21740023)
Certainly an uphill fight in a ruby red state but she has as good a chance as anyone to oust McTurtle. As in every race that counts, it all comes down to Democratic turnout.

Elections analyst Rachel Bitecofer of the Wason Center for Public Policy at CNU says no, this one doesn't, and that's the problem. Her claim is that in Kentucky, there just aren't enough Democrats, even with a big surge in Dem turnout, to overcome the fact that Kentucky is R+15. You've got to get Republicans to vote against Mitch, and there's little prospect of that.

Her take on McGrath is: great candidate, would likely win if she were running against Thom Tillis in NC.

Chronos 07-09-2019 10:46 AM

Yeah, she's definitely the underdog. But we need to contest every race, and put forward the best candidates we can, because sometimes the underdogs win.

BobLibDem 07-09-2019 10:49 AM

Right. Who'da thunk that we'd have a Democratic Senator from Alabama? I think Dems have to fight for every seat. Even if a Democrat wins the White House, without 50 Democratic Senators not much will get accomplished.

bobot 07-09-2019 10:50 AM

I don't know the history of Kentucky senate races, but maybe the people of Kentucky just need some Democrats to get in there and give them a reason to vote Democratic. Hell, it can't hurt, and it sure would be great to send that legendary obstructionist packing.

Snowboarder Bo 07-09-2019 11:00 AM

Here's why I think she has a chance:

Right now, Mitch McConnell is indisputably part of the Trump Administration. His actions are enabling and helping things get done. The public knows this.

Things in this country are not going to get better between now and Election Day 2020; I just don't see the economy improving, more people getting healthcare, etc.

If Mrs. McGrath (? she is married but did not take her husband's name; is that the right honorific?) can tap into that and solidly show that Mitch McConnell is a part of the cause, she's got a shot. And frankly, I don't think it'll be hard to pin him as a part of the fiasco that's been taking place for the past couple of years, not by the time September 2020 rolls around. Still a longshot, but I feel like there is cause for hope.

CarnalK 07-09-2019 11:02 AM

If he's a turtle, he's a snapping one. I remember reading a while back about when the tea party made a move to primary McConnell. The opponent seemed honestly flabbergasted by how hard team turtle came at him.

CaptMurdock 07-09-2019 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarnalK (Post 21740135)
If he's a turtle, he's a snapping one. I remember reading a while back about when the tea party made a move to primary McConnell. The opponent seemed honestly flabbergasted by how hard team turtle came at him.

Hopefully, Ms. McGrath will learn from Matt Bevin's mistake and not only expect Turtle-Man's blatant attacks, but be ready with a counter-punch.

Snowboarder Bo 07-09-2019 01:39 PM

MSNBC not helping her with this video title: Meet The Retired Fighter Pilot Who Will Take On Sen. Amy McConnell. :p

iiandyiiii 07-09-2019 01:41 PM

Glad to see this. Small chance and an uphill climb, but it's still possible. We'll see. Got to put your best foot forward (i.e. solid candidates) to have a chance at things like this.

Snowboarder Bo 07-09-2019 01:46 PM

She lost the House race to Andy Barr by about 3% so she definitely has support in Kentucky. The key is: how much support can McConnell lose by Election Day?

Anny Middon 07-09-2019 01:53 PM

Let's not forget that McConnell is 77 years old. Not ancient by today's standards, but still more susceptible to some health issues.

CarnalK 07-09-2019 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21740543)
She lost the House race to Andy Barr by about 3% so she definitely has support in Kentucky. The key is: how much support can McConnell lose by Election Day?

Uh, no. Her loss was similar to the last few races in that district and the district was held by Dems as recently as 2010. Her loss there, in a blue wave year, makes me think she's got no chance at all statewide.

Ulf the Unwashed 07-09-2019 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarnalK (Post 21740696)
Uh, no. Her loss was similar to the last few races in that district and the district was held by Dems as recently as 2010. Her loss there, in a blue wave year, makes me think she's got no chance at all statewide.

Bolding mine.

Ballotpedia says otherwise:

2018 McGrath 48%, Barr 51%
2016 Kemper 39% Barr 61%
2014 Jensen 40% Barr 60%

In 2012 it's true that Barr beat Chandler (D) by about 51-47, but worth pointing out is that 2012 marked a somewhat new map for the district.

Anyway, if by "the last few races in the district" you mean "some races dating from 2012 and before," then your statement is absolutely correct :)

CarnalK 07-09-2019 04:07 PM

Yeah, I misread a little there but I think it's also worth noting that it went Dem in '04, 06, 08 and 2010. So I think it's not some good sign for the statewide election that she only lost by 3% in the 6th district.

Kobal2 07-09-2019 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anny Middon (Post 21740556)
Let's not forget that McConnell is 77 years old. Not ancient by today's standards, but still more susceptible to some health issues.


From your mouth to the Devil's ears...

Snowboarder Bo 07-09-2019 05:32 PM

Mitch McConnell on why the US should not pay reparations:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mitch McConnell
We tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a Civil War, by passing landmark civil rights legislation, elected an African American president. I don't think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it would be hard to figure out whom to compensate.

Saying that the only reason Obama got elected was a sop to black people in response to slavery is not going to help him in this election, IMO. Plus he got at least two of those three things wrong.

bobot 07-09-2019 05:41 PM

Oh, did he slip up there and admit that the Civil War was about slavery? Shit, Republican truth obfuscators everywhere are probably feeling their reality unwind around them.

TroutMan 07-09-2019 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21740127)
Right now, Mitch McConnell is indisputably part of the Trump Administration. His actions are enabling and helping things get done. The public knows this.

Trump has a +15 approval rating in KY. It's going to take a lot more than tying McConnell to Trump.

Snowboarder Bo 07-09-2019 05:54 PM

Knock that down 1% per month and it's a non-factor. Could happen. Lotta time left.

TroutMan 07-09-2019 07:44 PM

Knocking Trump's approval down 15 points ain't gonna happen.

I'm not saying McGrath doesn't have a chance. McConnell has a high net negative approval in the state. McGrath's play needs to be going after him directly, not tying him to Trump. That, and essentially everything else falls her way, and she could get within spitting distance at least.

CarnalK 07-09-2019 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21741032)
Knock that down 1% per month and it's a non-factor. Could happen. Lotta time left.

In a Republican strategy room somewhere, Rockclimber Bo is saying "Sure Trump's approval rating is down but if we bump it up 1% per month then it'll be a non-factor."

DSeid 07-09-2019 08:35 PM

It's the tie to Trump that keeps him up there, not knocking him down.

epbrown01 07-09-2019 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSeid (Post 21741282)
It's the tie to Trump that keeps him up there, not knocking him down.

This. Trump had a rally here last year and several co-workers drove hours to see him.

Snowboarder Bo 07-09-2019 10:56 PM

CNN had Amy McGrath on today; 4:47 video at link.

asahi 07-09-2019 11:18 PM

This is one bet I'm not making.

CarnalK 07-10-2019 12:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21741518)
CNN had Amy McGrath on today; 4:47 video at link.

Well, she seems to agree with posters above but going more aggressive and actually trying to split McConnell and Trump.

That "Trump=9/11" explanation at the end, well it was something. Not sure how I feel about it but the thought "lipstick on a pig" comes to mind. Guess it's a faux pas she wants to burn off early.

asahi 07-10-2019 07:26 AM

Mitch McConnell will retire undefeated. He is unbeatable.

bobot 07-10-2019 07:31 AM

That is probably true, but it's no reason not to try.

epbrown01 07-10-2019 09:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobot (Post 21741877)
That is probably true, but it's no reason not to try.

This. I'll happily keep working to get rid of the SOB, myself. I have a dream of KY catching up with the rest of the world...

wguy123 07-10-2019 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asahi (Post 21741874)
Mitch McConnell will retire undefeated. He is unbeatable.

I highly recommend the NPR podcast "Embedded." The latest series is about the rise of Mitch and all the shit he has done to win and retain power. He has done more to damage politics than nearly anyone else. I don't know how anyone can support this vile person. When people talk of "the swamp", they are talking about Mitch.

Shodan 07-10-2019 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21741000)
Saying that the only reason Obama got elected was a sop to black people in response to slavery is not going to help him in this election, IMO.

That might be true. Maybe if he ever says it we'll find out.
Quote:

Plus he got at least two of those three things wrong.
What are the things he got wrong?
  • That we didn't fight the Civil War
  • That the Civil War was not about slavery
  • That we didn't pass any civil rights legislation
  • Obama wasn't African-American, or
  • It would be easy to figure out who to compensate?
Because AFAICT all those things are true.

Regards,
Shodan

iiandyiiii 07-10-2019 09:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21742161)
That might be true. Maybe if he ever says it we'll find out.What are the things he got wrong?[list][*]That we didn't fight the Civil War

He didn't say we fought the Civil War -- he said we fought the Civil War to make up for the original sin of slavery. That's incorrect, historically speaking.

Quote:

[*]That the Civil War was not about slavery
It was about slavery, but it wasn't about making up for the original sin of slavery.

Quote:

[*]That we didn't pass any civil rights legislation
We did, but it wasn't in order to make up for the original sin of slavery -- it was to end discriminatory policies and practices (which it partially accomplished).

Quote:

[*]Obama wasn't African-American
He is, but he wasn't elected to make up for the original sin of slavery.

So McConnell is wrong about any of these things being actual efforts to deal with the original sin of slavery.

CarnalK 07-10-2019 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobot (Post 21741877)
That is probably true, but it's no reason not to try.

"No chance in hell" is probably in the top 3 of reasons not to try something, lol.

If she's a team player, the only real use of her campaign might be to force McConnell into some gaffe or position that is politically useful on the national level. He's so safe though, it would be difficult to draw him into something.

Shodan 07-10-2019 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21742203)
He didn't say we fought the Civil War -- he said we fought the Civil War to make up for the original sin of slavery. That's incorrect, historically speaking.

You can't make up for a sin until you stop committing it. Therefore, fighting a war to stop people from committing a sin is part of making up for the sin. So no, it's not incorrect, historically or otherwise.

Regards,
Shodan

iiandyiiii 07-10-2019 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21742394)
You can't make up for a sin until you stop committing it. Therefore, fighting a war to stop people from committing a sin is part of making up for the sin. So no, it's not incorrect, historically or otherwise.

Regards,
Shodan

I agree with the first sentence -- we couldn't even try to make up for slavery until we ended slavery. Once slavery ended, then the country had the moral duty to try and make up for slavery. This hasn't occurred yet.

Kent Clark 07-10-2019 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21742161)
Obama wasn't African-American

Because AFAICT all those things are true.

Regards,
Shodan

Back, in 2004, Alan Keyes, who was running for the Senate against Obama in Illinois, proclaimed that he, Keyes, was "African-American" while Obama wasn't, because Obama didn't have ancestors who were enslaved.

Using that precise definition, I suppose Keyes could also argue that descendants of a free Negro from a Northern state, who had never been someone else's slave, were also not real "African-Americans."

But more to the point, Shodan, do you think this entire nit-picking debate means anything to anyone who won't vote for a nigger?

CarnalK 07-10-2019 12:18 PM

Boy, I've sure noticed you since your name change and not in a good way.

Steve MB 07-10-2019 12:24 PM

McGrath has hit upon a clever strategy of blaming McConnell for Trump's failures to keep some of his more popular promises:

Quote:

...McGrath said her campaign strategy will be to show Kentuckians that McConnell is a barrier to their ability to "drain the swamp," a key reason why the red state voted for Trump.

"Trump promised to bring back jobs," she said. "He promised to lower drug prices for so many Kentuckians. That’s so important. Who stops him along the way? Mitch McConnell."...
Of course, you know and I know and McGrath knows that Trump (depending on how charitable one feels) had no intention of keeping those promises or at least no inclination to put any real effort into keeping those promises, but that's not important -- she's not running against Trump, and wisely keeps the heat focused on the turtle-soup pot.

Bone 07-10-2019 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kent Clark (Post 21742525)

But more to the point, Shodan, do you think this entire nit-picking debate means anything to anyone who won't vote for a nigger?

This is a warning for hate speech. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make by casually using hate speech, but it is not acceptable on any forum on this board.

[/moderating]

carlb 07-10-2019 01:09 PM

I like the way Nate Silver put it on Twitter.
Quote:

Originally Posted by @NateSilver238
I think McGrath has a shot.

McConnell has the worst approval ratings in the country. He will probably win on the basis of partisanship, especially with Trump turnout. But it's not a foregone conclusion and his status as party leader could give him problems that a "generic" Republican might not have.

It's gonna be one of those races where the polling could show a close race, but the fundamentals strongly favor McConnell and McConnell probably wins. But if you're not providing for, say, a 15-20% chance of McGrath winning, your mental and/or statistical model is overconfident.

Not impossible, but definitely an uphill climb. I think McConnell has it in him to do something in the coming months to actually alienate some of his voters, and/or some of his own party's Senators. My bet would be on refusing to censure or to even contemplate impeachment hearings for some truly egregious action on the part of Trump (I mean, even more egregious than we've already seen).

CarnalK 07-10-2019 01:28 PM

I think that's Nate letting his inner pundit out. He's saying 15-20% minimum with no polling?

Bijou Drains 07-10-2019 04:05 PM

McConnell could lose if women say he was chasing them at malls when they were 15.

asahi 07-10-2019 04:39 PM

The one thing that would keep me awake at night if I were Mitch or any Republican for that matter is the current Obamacare lawsuit, which is gaining traction and could be deemed unconstitutional, null, and void...just in time for the campaign season. Kicking people off of their insurance programs and angering the healthcare lobby - that could be a problem.

bobot 07-10-2019 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asahi (Post 21741874)
Mitch McConnell will retire undefeated. He is unbeatable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobot (Post 21741877)
That is probably true, but it's no reason not to try.

Quote:

Originally Posted by epbrown01 (Post 21742077)
This. I'll happily keep working to get rid of the SOB, myself. I have a dream of KY catching up with the rest of the world...

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarnalK (Post 21742329)
"No chance in hell" is probably in the top 3 of reasons not to try something, lol.

....

I like your fightn' spirit! And salute all of the zero things that never got accomplished with it.

Kent Clark 07-10-2019 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bone (Post 21742607)
This is a warning for hate speech. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make by casually using hate speech, but it is not acceptable on any forum on this board.

[/moderating]

I accept this warning, but I won't apologize for using the word. And I certainly didn't use it casually. I wanted to make a point, and I used the bluntest tool in my vocabulary to make it.

This entire sophistry over whether Obama is "African-American" or "African American" is a Republican smear intended to a) challenge Obama's citizenship, and b) attempt to convince the black community that Obama wasn't really one of them.

Keyes tried it in 2004, and ended up getting 4% of the black vote, compared to Obama's 96%.

Keyes tried to pull it out again when he ran for President in 2008. Keyes' campaign nevr got off the ground, but Republican dirty tricksters again pulled out the line to try to split the black vote.

Now Mitch McConnell decided to pull that same trick. I can guarantee it will be used against Kamala Harris if she starts gaining ground.

And just for the record, I don't think white people (and I am a white person) have any business telling black people who is "African American" and who is "African-American." At least Alan Keyes had standing to make the charge.

The word I chose to use is a vulgar, ugly word. I can't remember using it in a joke or anything other than quoting someone since I was in about 6th grade. But I used it deliberately. I sincerely hope I never feel the need to use it again on this Board, or in any other context.

CarnalK 07-10-2019 06:42 PM

Whatever, dude. Everyone knew you were a white guy using the word for its splashy effect. No one's impressed.

Snowboarder Bo 07-11-2019 01:04 PM

It looks like Amy McGrath is gonna have a little help in this contest:
Quote:

Originally Posted by ThelmaLou (Post 21744808)
"Democrats make McConnell Public Enemy No. 1 in bid to take back Senate"
https://wapo.st/32haYq5
Quote:

...
“The majority leader has extraordinary power and is the primary obstacle to getting things done here in the U.S. Senate,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in an interview Tuesday. “He is also the face of acquiescence to Trump and the Republicans’ lack of a spine. The most effective arguments are often about a personality, a personal face and a story, and this story has the great virtue of being true.”

The latest critiques reflect a growing movement within Democratic ranks to make the 2020 election cycle not just a referendum on Trump, but also a purging of McConnell and entrenched Republicans who have given conservatives immense sway over policy and judicial vacancies while enabling Trump’s priorities, from hard-line immigration policies at the U.S.-Mexico border to sweeping deregulation.
...
Yeah, baby! Bring down the puppet master!


Shodan 07-12-2019 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21744907)
It looks like Amy McGrath is gonna have a little help in this contest:

That appears rather badly to conflict with a previous alleged strategy -
Quote:

...McGrath said her campaign strategy will be to show Kentuckians that McConnell is a barrier to their ability to "drain the swamp," a key reason why the red state voted for Trump.

"Trump promised to bring back jobs," she said. "He promised to lower drug prices for so many Kentuckians. That’s so important. Who stops him along the way? Mitch McConnell."...
She wants to stop McConnell from blocking Trump, because Trump is popular, and also get rid of Trump, who is popular.

I don't think that will help very much.

Regards,
Shodan


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