A week ago, some of the people from Kentucky watched the Democratic presidential debate, and the RGA, or the Republican Governors Association, pointed out that Democrats foremost needed to go through the race for Kentucky governor.
The RGA invested circa $2 million on their ads in which they confronted the Democratic candidate for governor, the Attorney General Andy Beshear. Republicans have accused him of nepotism. Namely, the associate he hired ended up in prison because he had been charged with corruption and taking bribes. Also, in their last campaign ad, he promised he would stop Trump’s unfavorable policies.
Up until now, those ads haven’t been addressed by the Democrats, which gives people only one viewpoint regarding the elections.
The distinctions of the initial stages of ad campaigns is an obvious tell what the Republicans’ tactic is for the general election in November. Contrary to that, the Democrats are sparing money with the goal of discussing matters with Kentuckians around the time when the election takes place because, at that time, they might be more inclined to listen. Republicans have decided to stick to the traditional tactic of Senator Mitch McConnell, where they will be broadcasting their message early, with the idea of managing the narrative of the election race.
That narrative centers on connecting Beshear to the national Democrats, who are disliked in Kentucky right now, and also, it centers on diminishing any remaining positive feelings that Kentuckians have towards the former two-term Governor Steve Beshear, who is Beshear’s father.
A science professor at the University of Kentucky, Stephen Voss, asserted that Beshear was relishing the long-term benefits that came from the popularity of his father and connections to the former Democratic Party. He added that there were enough reasons why one could go against the modern Democrats and the old Kentucky Democrats.
The different campaign tactics of the Democrats and Republicans indicate the differences of opinions between political experts about how advertising from the beginning of the campaign can influence a race. Additionally, professor Voss said that one could hear a variety of experts discuss whether the early ads are unnecessary, as well as others who claim that they are crucial.
Communications director for Democratic Governors Association, David Turner, pointed out that his group would rather broadcast ads later on in the elections, at a time when the majority of people start watching election ads. A generally accepted theory is that people in Kentucky have no interest in the elections until August.
On Friday, the DGA bought their first ads when Bluegrass Values bought TV ads in the whole state. Namely, as stated by the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, Bluegrass Values is an unofficial campaign board, but they are a group, who have alongside their president and treasurer listed their addresses as the DGA’s Washington D.C. headquarters.
David Turner noted that in 2018, there were three races in which Republicans had spent more money than the Democrats, but in spite of that, the Democrats won in Nevada, Colorado, and Michigan. He also said that these were the states where they could have the most effect. But unlike Kentucky, these states have chosen Democrats in other elections, for example, for Senate.
Professor Voss commented that Kentucky was special due to separation amid party registration and party identity. Almost half of the voters who are registered are Democrats, but interestingly enough, they oftentimes vote for Republicans in state and national races.
The ones who dispute that it is vital to swiftly determine who is a political rival in a negative context display a situation from 2018, when a former pilot Amy McGrath challenged Representative Andy Barr for his congressional seat. For the duration of a whole month, his campaign was attacking McGrath in ads on small screens, and then the Democrats answered in detail. The ad attack influenced the public opinion in such a way that McGrath was seen as too liberal for Kentucky, and thus, they had removed her from the race and helped Barr win the elections.
Director of communications, Amelia Chasse Alcivar, noted that the group has the means to define Beshear in an early stage, and that is precisely what they are pulling off. Additionally, she declared that the RGA was happy to back up governors who demonstrate results to the people they are in service of, and that’s why they support Governor Bevin. In the case of Andy Beshear, she thinks that he would go in the opposite direction and that they couldn’t allow that.
Even though they just joined the quarrels on TV, Democratic groups in Kentucky weren’t entirely AWOL. A liberal political action committee, American Bridge, backs up Democratic candidates. They had a person who recorded Bevin at important events with a camera to capture any mistakes that he would make and another one who had tailed Robert Goforth, a state representative, while he was campaigning full-on versus Bevin in the elections amongst Republicans.
This group had published online ads against Bevin in which they have accused him of being corrupt and pointing out his conflict with the lieutenant governor, and even a website that criticizes the governor.
Democrats believe that Republicans’ ads are the sign that Bevin is commencing the race with a disadvantage. Namely, Bevin is seen as the least beloved of all governors in the state, which leaves him powerless in front of the conservative electorate in Kentucky. In the Republican primary, he only won 52% of the votes against a new candidate.
Beshear’s campaign manager, Eric Hyers, said that the RGA’s attempts to slander Attorney General Beshear demonstrates that they are already aware that this governor cannot win because of his not-so-likable record, which includes ruining the health care, destroying public education, and also harassing everybody, from teachers to lieutenant governor. He added that this callous approach wouldn’t bear fruit because people from Kentucky were aware who Andy Beshear is. They also asserted that he was on their side as an attorney general who advocates for accessible health care, public schools, and their pensions.
Ultimately, citizens of Kentucky will be flooded with the ads of both nominees. Sen. Mitch McConnell has succeeded in getting the better of his own political reputation by demolishing opponents with a number of negative ads. McConnel also said that, this year, they wouldn’t have much happening and that they needed to decide where to allocate their resources. She added that Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi would be inundated with ads the whole year.