Friday, November 4, 2011

706. Beshear Wins! - and other predictions. And polling location changes in Jefferson

I am confident I am not alone in making the title prediction - Beshear Wins! There seems to be little doubt that the Bully of Burkesville will go down to defeat in next Tuesday's statewide elections to the incumbent governor, Steve Beshear - voted down by an electorate which every pollster and pundit predicts will be thin at best. There shouldn't be any long lines, or even short lines, at the polling stations, which are open Tuesday from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, local time. A note on that - voters in eastern Breckinridge County, near Irvington, who unofficially follow "Louisville" time are voting on "Owensboro" time.

The Secretary of State is predicting a statewide turnout of 27%, a number which may be a little on the shy side if the weather is as nice as some are predicting - highs in the low 70s with sunshine and a slight breeze. Of course, here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606, the weather is subject to change between the time you vote for Governor and the time you vote for Agriculture Commissioner.

While I am not going to give any hard numbers in this entry, I am going to give percentages and we can come back later next week to see if my crystal ball is clear or cracked. So, to the numbers - or rather the percentages. I will state up front, I am predicting a slate sweep for the Democrats, something that hasn't happened since 1999.

First, I am predicting a statewide turnout of 28.2%. The following counties will have a percentage turnout greater than the statewide pecentage: Anderson, Bath, Boone, Butler, Campbell, Daviess, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Henderson, Jefferson, Kenton, Meade, Nicholas, Ohio, Oldham, Scott, and Woodford - a total of 18, meaning 102 counties will be at 28.2% or less, some far less.

The most recent polls have shown the governor with a high 20-something point lead. That number will narrow but remain in the 20s. My final vote percentagews for the governor's race are as follows: Steve Beshear 56.5%, David Williams 30%, Gatewood Galbraith 12.5%, others 1%.

Gatewood Galbraith will run second in at least four counties, maybe two more. Those four are Bath, Nicholas, Clark, and Robertson. Maybe Mason and Franklin, too.

Todd Hollenbach, the incumbent State Treasurer and someone I've known for about 35 years, will lead the Democrats in votes received, defeating his opponent 55%-42%, with a third party (Libertarian Ken Moellman) getting less than 3%.

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State, essentially an open seat and running against a Tea Partier Republican, will win her race by a 54%-46% margin. She is, obviously, the only woman on the Democratic ticket and is also the youngest, being in her mid-30s. She is an attorney in Lexington and is married to Andrew Grimes, who might one day be Kentucky's Second First Gentleman. Dr. Bill Collins was the first.

The other three offices are harder to predict. But, I'll try.

I've been a friend of Jack Conway's for about sixteen years, having been introduced by a former co-worker, attorney Denis Fleming, shortly after Denis went to work for Governor Patton. I've supported Jack in each of his races and this one is important. The Republicans want the Attorney General's office more than any other so as to use it as a launching pad for investigations into every possible event taking place in Frankfort, at great expense to Kentucky's taxpayers. Their candidate today famously received the endorsement of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Yes, her. She is so much a supporter of Jack's opponent that in her endorsement, a voice-mail recording, she mispronouces the Republican's name. Jack, of course, lost last year's United States Senate race to one of the strangest folks ever to hold office in Kentucky. I've heard far too many voters speak of buyer's remorse when it comes to the Junior Senator from Kentucky. I think this will help Jack in the long run. I beleive this will be the second most voted race, behind the governor's with Conway winning 53-47%, thus electing Jack to his second and final term as Attorney General. At just over 40 years of age, he still has a potentially long future in Kentucky's electoral processes.

The race for Auditor of Public Accounts, presently held by longtime Kentucky government insider Crit Luallen, puts Adam Edelen in his first race, although he has been around Kentucky politics since he was in high school, which was about the time I met him. He was then working as an intern with the Kentucky Democratic Party when our local Jefferson County Democratic Party had its offices in the Mid-City Mall, in the space now occupied by the Shelby-Highlands Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. His co-intern was a young man named Aaron Horner. Both, with me, have remained good friends over the nearly two decades which has passed from then to now. But Adam has been largely in the background, a loyal stormtrooper for the Democrats and rising to the highest level a background person possibly can, as Chief-of-Staff to the Governor, a position he held until resigning to run for this current seat. Adam is originally from nearby Meade County and is a graduate of Saint Xavier here in Jefferson County. This race is tighter than it should be given the respective resumes of the candidates. Adam wins 55%-45%, or maybe 54%-46%.

Finally we have a race for Agriculture Commissioner. For the last eight years Kentucky's Ag-Commissioner, as it is commonly called, has been held by a Kentucky sports hero, Richie Farmer, Republican of Clay County, formerly wearing the #32 basketball jersey at the University of Kentucky. Richie wasn't a farmer when he got elected and being in statewide office hasn't seemed to help him this year in his bid for lieutenant governor with the Bully from Burkesville. And, the truth is, neither the Commonwealth nor the office of Agriculture Commissioner has suffered greatly under Mr. Farmer, if you don't count a missing refrigerator, from its representation by a non-farmer, even a sports hero named Farmer. In truth, the office is a marketing vehicle for Kentucky products of all kinds, with some other odd and scattered duties here and there.

Almost comically, the Democrat running to replace the Republican Farmer in the Ag Comm spot is a man named Farmer, who like Richie, is not a farmer but a marketer. Bob Farmer has long been involed in marketing various aspects of Kentucky from his professional offices in downtown Louisville. Now he is seeking to bring that expertise to a statewide level. His opponent is a little known legislator from southern Kentucky. Four years ago, the winner of this race received more votes than any other candidate on the ballot. That will not be the case in 2011. I expect Bob Farmer to be elected by a 52%-48% margin.


So, those are my numbers. I'll be in Frankfort, and later Lexington, on Election Night counting votes and celebrating an across-the-board win.


Finally, ten precincts, all generally supportive of Democrats, have had their polling location changed for Tuesday's election. They are in South Louisville, the Highlands, and Clifton. Here is the list:

G111 and G112, in the Deer Park area of the Highlands, moves from Bellarmine (Knights Hall) to Highland Middle School, less than a two blocks away at 1700 Norris Place. Each of these are heavy voting precincts.

I105 and J101, south of Churchill Downs, move from Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church at 3509 Taylor Boulevard to Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church, 3526 Taylor Boulevard, which is cater-corner from the former location. There is a stoplight to safely cross the street.

I110, in the Beechmont neighborhood, moves from the Louisville Fire House at S. 5th Street and W. Ashland Avenue, two blocks southeast to the Beechmont Baptist Church, 4574 S. 3rd Street.

I114, just south of the above precinct, is moved from the Gateway Community Church at 4623 Southern Parkway one block east to the Beechmont Baptist Church, 4574 S. 3rd Street.

L117, L118, and L119, all in the Clifton/Veterans Hospital area, move from Saint Leonard School, at the top of Zorn Avenue, to the Louisville Visual Art Building, more commonly known as the Louisville Water Tower, on River Road. This is a huge move down the hill about a mile away and will probably hurt turnout in these precincts. They should say the poll is at the Water Tower as very few people know the building by the other name. Also, while the address is 3005 River Road, the building itself sits about 1/3 mile north of River Road. This move should be rescinded if at all possible.

N130, also in the Zorn Avenue area, has its poll moved from the Lebanese American Club at 3020 River Road to the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club, a huge non-descript building at Mellwood and Zorn avenues, south of I-71.

For any information on voting, the phone number for the Jefferson County Board of Elections is 502-574-6100. Their website is

Vote Early, Vote Often.

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The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.