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Ken Rechtin's Another Voice: On Election Day, Don't Vote for the Party

About two weeks ago “Another Voice” readers had the opportunity to reply to a short poll measuring their choices in the upcoming gubernatorial election.
 
The respondents self­-identified as either Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Independent. They then choose who they were going to vote for in the fall election. They could choose Republican Matt Bevin, Democrat Jack Conway, independent Drew Curtis, or Undecided.
 
Here are the results:
 
While almost equal percentages of Republicans (63%) and Democrats (62%) are going to vote for their party’s candidate, a surprising 26% of Republicans were still undecided. This is in contrast to only 3% of the Democrats selecting “undecided”. And a surprising 34% of the Democrats will be voting for either Bevin or Curtis. Only 12% of the Republicans are leaving their party and voting for either Conway or Curtis.
 
There are ZERO Libertarians indicating that they will vote for Conway. And only 20% of the Independents will be voting for Conway!
 
16% of the Democrats said that they will be voting for Curtis and only 8% of the Republicans will jump ship and vote for the Independent Curtis.
 
Here is what I think this means:
 
Bevin has work to do to solidify his base. Many of his party regulars are still unconvinced. I am sure that Bevin’s campaign staff is well aware and will be doing everything possible to bring out the faithful. At the end of the day, the Republican Party does an outstanding job of bringing out their straight ticket voter. The undecided Republicans will end up being convinced and will vote with the party.
 
The Conway campaign has work to do as well. With apologies to Wil Rogers, Democrats are not members of an organized political party. They listen to the beat of their own drummer. They make up their own mind. When asked to stay in line with the party choice, they ask, Why?
 
Conway has a lot of work to do to answer that question.
 
The effect of the independent Curtis campaign is not to be dismissed. Because of the “independence” of Democrats, many more of them indicate that they will be voting for Curtis!
 
At this stage of the campaign, I believe that here in NKY Bevin will be the clear and decisive winner.
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Now, onto this week’s column (continued on next page).
 
 
Our Commonwealth is facing significant, longstanding issues in the areas of education, public pensions, health care, incarceration (volume and costs), the future of coal, addictions, infrastructure (like the Brent Spence Bridge), use of natural resources, gaming, legalization of cannabis, tax systems, and on and on.
 
This is a pivotal time for our Commonwealth. Your choices for leadership in our offices of Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer, and Commissioner of Agriculture will make a difference. Whether you like change or not, I guarantee your choices for these offices will impact your life!
 
Now, would you do me a favor?
 
This is a very simple request. Please resist the urge to vote straight party. Earlier this year, I wrote about our addiction to vote only for the party and not for the person.
 
I believe it is about time to end the option of voting by party! But, the option still exists, so, I ask you, don’t be a lazy voter! Don’t vote for someone only because they are a Republican or a Democrat.
 
Most of you reading this column will vote. But, historically less than 30% of registered voters cast a ballot in these constitutional officer elections! (Maybe because they are held in “off” years!? Hey Senator Chris McDaniel, maybe you should try again to change the elections cycles so that they all coincide in even-numbered years?)
 
Judge the candidates by their experience, their qualifications, their stance on the issues that are important to you (only on issues that they have a possibility of making a difference upon), on their listening skills, on their temperament, on their personal story/history or on their likability.
 
So where do you learn about the candidates? First search their websites. It is a treasure trove of information. Most of it is accurate. If you do not see the answer to a question that is important to you, find the "contact us" button, get the email address of the candidate, and ask your question.
 
Candidates are very excited to learn that someone is interested in what they think!
 
To learn more, go to KET’s website. KET has the Kentucky Tonight programs with Bill Goodman available to view. Bill has moderated debates on the issues facing each of these offices. This is an excellent source to see the candidates alongside of their opponent.
 
Now, using a plain sheet of paper with the candidates’ names side by side, ask yourself about each candidate and place a check mark next to the candidate who most likely gives you the answer or has the qualifications, the experience, or the education that you want.
 
Now, back to the favor I ask.
 
Please, consider all (there are three to consider in the Governor’s race) of the candidates.
 
And here they are (I removed the party designation and put them in alphabetical order by last name):
 
For Governor: Matt Bevin or Jack Conway or Drew Curtis
 
For Attorney General: Andy Beshear or Whitney Westerfield
 
For Secretary of State: Alison Lundergan Grimes or Stephen L. Knipper
 
For Auditor of Public Accounts: Adam Edelen or Mike Harmon
 
For State Treasurer: Allison Ball or Rick Nelson
 
For Commissioner of Agriculture: Jean-­Marie Lawson Spann or Ryan Quarles
 
Now, will you do me that favor?
 
The views and opinions expressed here in “Another Voice” do not reflect the views or opinions of The River City News, its owners, writers, or editors. These are solely the ideas of Ken Rechtin. If you wish to make comment to Another Voice, Ken can be reached via email at [email protected] or you may leave a comment here. All rights to use of Another Voice in any fashion are retained by Ken Rechtin. Please contact him for any use of his columns.