Friday, May 18, 2007

Pre-Election Predictions

I must get asked about a dozen times a day about who I think is going to win the upcoming elections. There are days when I lean one way and then something will come along in the news, or I’ll see some political spot which makes me change my mind. But like any good political prognosticator, I consulted my tarot cards, stared deeply into my coffee grounds (I know it’s supposed to be tea leaves, but it was really early so cut me some slack), and finally, I examined the entrails a pig. After all, one can talk politics without pork right? So, here we go:

For Commissioner of Agriculture, I expect Richie Farmer to pick up a win in the Republican Primary. He’s done a great job and I can’t see why the voters wouldn’t want more of the same. On the Democratic side, it will be David Neville.

The State Treasurer’s race has an especially good crop of candidates this time around. But I like Lonnie Napier the best. He has some great credentials. On the Democratic side, I look for Mike Weaver to pull out a win.

We all know the potential power of the Attorney General’s office. I think this one goes to Jack Conway, the former Pattonite, to win the Democratic Primary. I suspect Jack has plans to use this office as a jumping off point for Governor. Stan Lee looks like a winner for the Republicans. The GOP would be well advised to go all out for AG in future races (just a suggestion).

Bruce Hendrickson will be the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State. He’ll do battle in the fall with incumbent Trey Grayson. I have to tell you right now, Trey is one serious class act. Trey is probably one of, if not the brightest stars in the Republican camp.

In the Republican Primary for Governor, Ernie Fletcher will be re-nominated. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Harper come in second with Northup running a close third. Fletcher hit the ground running and never looked back. I really like Harper’s approach. He deserves a spot in Frankfort where he could put his energy and ideas to work for the citizens of Kentucky. Anne Northup just never found her voice. She seems like she’s just going through the motions. There’s no fire in her eyes. Personally, I think her selection of Michael Clingman as Campaign Manager was strategic mistake. Anne knows better than anyone that to take out an incumbent, you’ve got to have generals with brass. Anne, I like you. I really do, but you need a break. Spend time with Woody and the kids. Relax for awhile and enjoy life. Then I urge you to take a serious look at Metro Mayor. We need someone with new ideas down at City Hall.

The Democratic Primary is going to be a slugfest until the last vote is counted. They'll go after each other like a pack of ravenous hyenas. Richards, Galbraith, and Hensley are essentially out of the race, as if they were actually ever in it. Jonathan Miller has already dropped. At first, I thought this dance was between Henry and Lunsford; Steve’s popularity (well, actually Heather’s) versus Lunsford’s money. Both have baggage. Both have made some serious political mistakes. Steve’s running mate, Renee True seems like quality material, but she’s an unknown (by the way, does she talk? I have yet to hear her speak) and people are mistrustful of unknowns. Lunsford’s second is the outgoing AG, Greg Stumbo. Greg has “issues” all his own, but never underestimate the power of money in politics, especially Kentucky politics and Lunsford is loaded.

Now here’s the kicker, Kentuckians are tired of the mudslinging, corruption (real or implied), and back biting. Sure it’s good entertainment, but is that what we want in Frankfort? Stumbo is seen a mudslinger following his investigation of Fletcher. Lunsford quit the last time out and supported Ernie Fletcher, and that’s been a bur in Labor’s saddle ever since. Steve Henry has all sorts of problems. Frankly, none of the Democratic candidates should be pointing fingers (the really sad thing is that out of all the Democrats out there, this was the best crew they could field).

So, who is a known commodity with little (relatively speaking) baggage and good fundraiser capabilities? The only answer I can come up with that everyone in the Democratic camp can live with is Steve Beshear and his running mate, Dr. Dan Mongiardo. Don’t get me wrong. They’re not Teflon, but they seem to offer a little something for everyone with minimum garbage. I think Beshear would stand the best chance of all the other candidates of beating Fletcher in November. The big question is how badly this Primary damaged the Democrats ability to come together in the fall. Will the pack be dining on elephant in November or each other? Time will tell.

Finally, remember: there's only one opinion and one endorsement that really matters, and that's you--the voter.

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