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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! We’re only a few weeks away from Election Day, and one day away from early voting starting in Kentucky. Note that we can’t say we are “a few weeks away from the election,” because “the election” is already happening.
Predicting elections can be, uhm, interesting. Sometimes things happen in a campaign itself that change the trajectory of the race. Sometimes things happen outside the campaign that wind up affecting the race.
I interviewed Amy McGrath on Friday on The State of Kentucky. If you didn’t watch the live show, you can watch the recording of it, or the podcast version. I’ve included it in the Five Things section below.
She would say — as she did on the show — that she is still the same person as she was a few years ago when she ran against Andy Barr. That may be true in terms of beliefs and positions on policy, but in this interview I found her to be more energetic, just as passionate, and to me at least, more comfortable with the role of candidate.
Here’s why I’m writing about that interview, and that race.
We all know Kentucky is, overall, a red state. We all know that candidate after candidate has taken on McConnell and lost, usually by double digits. We all know that McConnell’s numbers are upside down across the state, and yet he wins.
But … this year is different. There is a pandemic ravaging the land. People are struggling, people are desperate. There is no second relief bill. And everyone knows that McConnell is to blame for that.
I think that is going to make a difference. And, I think McConnell’s tired ads are only going to stick with his base, and with no one else. Because we’ve seen it all before.
In other words, I think we are looking at a situation where outside events — a pandemic, economic devastation, and McConnell blocking the relief bill — are going to play an outsize role in the race.
And I think McGrath is going to ride a surge of momentum these last three weeks, and a giant turnout from Democrats, progressives, and independents, and pull off the upset.
I could probably write another 500 words about this, but I’ll leave it right here.
McGrath is going to beat McConnell.
If I’m wrong, I’ll own it. But if I’m right, I’ll claim that as well. And, we can all celebrate.
Talk to your friends, Make phone calls. Help get out the vote. And vote like your lives depend on it.
Today’s Five Things to Know
Beshear family exposed to virus, now in quarantine
Via a press release and video, Governor Beshear shared that he and his family had been exposed to infection from the coronavirus, and were following recommended practices by going into quarantine. (Forward Kentucky)
10/11 update — 852 new cases, 2nd biggest Sunday, makes record week
As Kentucky set a record for number of cases in a wek, a former FDA commissioner pointed to high reproduction-transmission rates of the virus in most states. The website RT.live estimates Kentucky’s statewide rate at 1.19, which is as high as the July surge. (Forward Kentucky)
McConnell set to debate Democratic rival McGrath
Kentucky voters are about to get their first, and potentially only, chance to see a debate between Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Amy McGrath. They’re set to meet Monday evening for a socially distanced encounter. The debate will be aired on Gray Television’s Kentucky-based stations. It comes near the end of a big-spending campaign. McConnell is seeking a seventh term and has consistently led in polling. The rivals will debate at WKYT, and the Lexington station took a number of precautions in response to the coronavirus. Kentucky is in the midst of another spike of COVID-19 cases. (West Kentucky Star)
Related: McGrath campaign sends letter to WKYT requesting McConnell get COVID test
Amy McGrath’s campaign sent a letter to WKYT requesting that everyone present for the Oct. 12 debate be tested for COVID-19 and provide the results to the station in advance of the debate. (Forward Kentucky)
Prominent lawyer, politician and legislator Terry McBrayer dies in Lexington at 83 after cancer battleProminent Kentucky politician, lawyer, and long-time legislator Terry McBrayer died Sunday in Lexington after an extended battle with cancer. He was 83.
McBrayer held numerous positions in state government. He was an elected member of the House of Representatives, serving in leadership roles of House Speaker Pro Tempore and Majority Floor Leader, and also served as chief executive officer for a governor. He served as chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party and as an active member of the Democratic National Committee.
He was, as his friends would say, a “force of nature.” (NKY Tribune)
TSOK – An interview with Amy McGrathIs this the year we FINALLY Ditch Mitch? Join us on The State of Kentucky for a conversation with Amy McGrath, as we talk about her campaign, her strategy, and what she is seeing as she flies (literally) around the state. You can watch the video recording of the show, or listen to the podcast. (Forward Kentucky)
Ditch Mitch Quilt Drawing Update
Money raised so far: $940
Number of donors: 51
Days left to enter: 7
Upcoming Events from the ForwardKY Calendar
Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
* indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[new] State receipts continue to show growth in first quarter – The first quarter of the state’s fiscal year, which started July 1, continues to show growth in both General Fund and Road Fund revenue, though lower than past years due to the pandemic. (News)
[new] 10/10 Trump rally in Frankfort – a photo gallery – There was a pro-Trump rally in Frankfort on Saturday, October 10, and Nick Lacy was there to snap some pix for us, as well as include some commentary along the way. (Photo Gallery)
[new] * Reproductive Rights for Kentucky endorses 14 candidates – Reproductive Rights for Kentucky PAC has endorsed these 14 candidates in the upcoming election. Names and contact info included for each candidate. (News)
[new] 10/10 update — 1,002 new cases, but hospitalizations and positivity rate decline – The state’s seven-day rolling average of new cases stands at 869; fewer than 700 cases were reported Sunday and Monday, typically low-number days. (News)
[new] KY Young Dems hold virtual convention, hear from multiple elected officials – The pandemic has forced campaigns and political organizations to go largely virtual, but amid an extremely important election cycle, the Kentucky Young Democrats are charging full speed ahead. (News)
[new] * Forget McCarthyism — now there’s McConnellism – Kentucky’s senior senator has been our version of Joe McCarthy since he unseated Dee Huddleston in 1984. Now he’s lying about Marine jet pilot Amy McGrath, his current Democratic opponent. (Commentary)
* They’re not “militias.” Call them what they are: “domestic terrorists” – The 2nd Amendment gives everyone the right to own a gun. It does not give anyone the right to form groups to overthrow the government, kidnap elected officials, intimidate lawmakers, or commit violence and terrorism. (Commentary)
Provision made to allow blind to vote without assistance – The Secretary of State and the Board of Elections have a plan to allow voters who are blind or visually impaired to be able to vote by absentee ballot without assistance in this year’s general election. (News)
MOKP – Keturah Herron and Kevin Glogower, plus grand jury tapes and COVID update – This week Jazmin and Robert speak with two really great guests: Keturah Herron of the ACLU, and Attorney Kevin Glogower (who is representing a member of the Breonna Taylor grand jury in a lawsuit). (Podcast)
McConnell’s failures vs McGrath’s vision – A neighbor asked me what Democrats, including Amy McGrath, could do in Washington that would have any impact on Kentuckians. I promised I would return with the information they requested. Here it is. (Commentary)
McGrath in Mayfield: COVID test before debate, healthcare, and McConnell – Amy McGrath made a stop in Mayfield today, and Berry Craig was there and filed this story, including the fact that McGrath is challenging McConnell to take a COVID test before their debate. (News)
What sickness did to Trump … and to FDR – “Some people thought maybe becoming one of 7 million [COVID-19] positives would do it. It doesn’t appear to have had that impact on him.” (Commentary)
*If you mess up your absentee ballot, here’s the “cure process” – If you vote absentee, what happens if you make a mistake? We contacted the Board of Elections, and they laid it out for us. And, as the old saying goes, there’s good news and there’s bad news. (Explainer)
The New Biden Rule (according to Mitch) – Senator McConnell keeps saying he is honoring “the Biden rule” when he rams through another SCOTUS justice right before the election. Turns out, he’s right – except it’s a NEW Biden rule that ol’ Mitch made up himself. (Cartoon)
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