The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Rich Galen

Thursday November 7, 2019

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  • The polls hadn't even closed on Tuesday night before the chattering class was blaming GOP failures on Donald Trump.

  • Top of the "It was a referendum on Trump" stack was the Governor's race in Kentucky. As I type this on Wednesday evening the Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear is leading incumbent Republican Governor Matt Bevin by about 0.4 percent or 5,189 votes.

  • The Governor has not conceded and is demanding a recount.

  • I know something less than zero about the ins-and-outs of Kentucky politics but I'm pretty sure of this: 5,200 votes is a lot of votes to make up. It would take something like realizing that a whole county was missed and that the Republican won that county 5,200 to nothing.

  • Possible, but not likely.

  • Donald Trump went to Kentucky on Monday night to try and goose turnout for Gov. Bevin. Maybe he did and Bevin would have lost by 10,000 votes without the Trump visit.

  • The anti-Trump panelists on the cable news channels pointed to a final poll that showed Bevin with a five percentage point lead (52-47) and declared Trump's rally absorbed that lead like graphite rods in a nuclear reactor absorb neutrons.

  • Maybe, but I'm not convinced.

  • Trump won Kentucky by about 30 points in 2016 and will probably come close to that in 2020. Also, national Republicans pointed to the other state-wide races which were swept by GOP candidates.

  • Turns out Bevin has the social skills of a garden slug and is just as cuddly.

  • Even with all that he only lost by 0.4 percentage points.

  • Note to candidates: If you are going to act like Donald Trump and sound like Donald Trump it's probably helpful to be Donald Trump.

  • What does appear to true is that the Democrat, Beshear, crushed Bevin in the 'burbs - something election watchers have been talking about for months.

  • If that becomes a pattern then places like suburban Philly, Pittsburgh, and Erie in Pennsylvania might turn out for the Democratic nominee for President in numbers that more than overcome any advantage Trump might still have in rural areas. This might be true not only in Pennsylvania but in Michigan and Wisconsin, etc.

  • The Washington Post's Dan Balz quoted a Republican strategist on this:
    "Trump has accelerated everything. There is no path in a swing, suburban district for a Republican - male, female or minority... It's not a challenge, it's a hill... There's no strategy to climb it."

  • Now, to Virginia.

  • Not so long ago, the Old Dominion was so red that the State House and State Senate, the Governor and every other state-wide office holder, both U.S. Senators, and a majority of the U.S. House delegation were Republicans.

  • After Tuesday, Democrats will control both the House of Delegates and the State Senate, joining the Democratic Governor and Lt. Governor, Attorney General, both U.S. Senators, and 7 of 11 members of the U.S. House from Virginia.

  • This swing toward being a Blue state began before Trump became President. To wit, Hillary won Virginia's 13 Electors by about 112,000 votes - about 50 - 44 percent.

  • Since Republican Governor Bob McDonald finished his term there have been two successive Democratic Governors. And the margin for the Rs in the state legislature was one seat in each chamber (not including vacancies).


    In Virginia, a Governor may not succeed himself/herself. You are a lame duck the moment you take the oath of office.


  • The thing about a pendulum is, it is difficult to known when it is going to begin swinging back the other way until it begins to swing back the other way.

  • So, to say that Tuesday night's results in Virginia were a plebiscite on Donald Trump is to assume facts not in evidence.

  • Next up? The Democratic caucuses and primaries beginning with Iowa on February 3, 2020.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Kentucky Governor's race and to the Washington Post's Dan Balz piece on suburban voters.

    The Mullfoto is of the Trump Hotel in downtown D.C. If you've never seen it, take a look. Put aside who is leasing it. It's a really beautiful building.

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