Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kentucky Governor's Race Tightens - And Just in Time

Incumbent Republican and Admitted Criminal Governor Ernie Fletcher has pulled within 15 points of Democratic challenger Steve Beshear in the latest Herald-Leader/WTVQ poll.

Democrats across the state are heaving sighs of relief. Beshear's 20-point lead since May has been making people nervous that the apparently inevitable Democratic sweep would keep people home on Election Day, allowing Ernie to squeak out a victory.

Last week, Survey USA had Beshear up by 20, and Democrats responded with an all-out GOTV effort. Democratic candidates are campaigning like they're 10 points down. Which is exactly where they'll be on November 6 if they don't get people off their duffs and to the polls.

November weather in Kentucky is nasty: cold, gray, with freezing rain. Getting people to vote in close elections is like squeezing disaster assistance out of FEMA; this year it's going to be next to impossible.

Ryan Alessi writes:

Del Ali, president of the Olney, Md.-based firm Research 2000 that conducted the poll, said with such a wide margin between the candidates, campaign cash to fund a final ad blitz becomes critical.

But the most recent campaign finance reports from early October showed that Beshear had nearly $1.7 million left in his bank account after paying in advance for several weeks’ worth of TV ads, while Fletcher’s campaign had $1.2 million on hand.

“This is over unless (Beshear) foolishly spends the money like no one else has and Fletcher spends the money strategically perfect,” Ali said.


Ali compared Beshear’s strength in this election to former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards’ famous quote that he could lose only if he was “caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.”

“I don’t even know if the live boy would hurt him,” Ali said of Beshear. “That’s where we are right now.”

Cross-posted at BlueGrassRoots.