Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul was successful in gaining a substantial amount of success that may subdue. For the time being it’s up to him to decide to withdraw from the 2016 Presidential elections and focus on obtaining another Senate term.
Republican Matt Bevin won the Kentucky governor’s race and Republicans almost wiped out the other down ballot races striking the reigning state auditor who Democrats predicted might stand against Paul in next year’s elections. Auditor Adam Edelen, graceful and articulated and a sweetheart of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and Aspen Institute, lost his race for re-election
“What this election shows is that people who’ve been promoting Democrats on the rise in Kentucky have been completely wrong,” Paul said in an interview after Tuesday’s resounding Republican win. “Not only has President Obama destroyed the party in Kentucky, he’s destroyed the bench. The bench that was supposed to rise up and run for office — that’s gone.”
The Senate contest will be quite gritty. Paul is not wildly popular but a presidential election year is likely to bring out a big GOP vote. Previously, the last Democrat to win in Kentucky was a Clinton, in 1996. However, much has changed since Big Dog Bill was around, and Hillary Rodham Clinton will be a tougher sell. So, Mitch stands astride the state. But the party McConnell built in Kentucky and the one he apparently presides over in the U.S. Senate is not the machine like conservative establishment that he once envisioned when he started out as an aide to moderate GOP Sen. Marlow Cook decades ago.
“Rand Paul just got the greatest early Christmas present ever,” said Todd Inman, a Republican activist from Owensboro, 100 miles west of Louisville. “Anyone honest would have to say the Democratic Party’s reeling right now,” said Greg Stumbo, the Democratic speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives. Stumbo admitted that next year might be too soon to expect a recovery: “Can we beat Rand Paul? I don’t know.”
The results clearly revealed that the former border state’s partisan inclination continues to flow further to the right like its southern neighbors, giving Paul evidence to push back against critics who fear that his presidential ambition is putting his Senate seat at risk.
“I’ve been very disappointed in the campaign of Rand Paul. Something’s missing. I don’t know exactly what it is. I’d endorsed him months ago. I quite frankly don’t know now,” Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) said Tuesday, pushing for a deadline to turn around the campaign. “It seems that if they don’t get off the ground in the next couple weeks, they need to make a decision. Rand has made some decisions that just did not energize the base.”
Due to his presidential focus, Paul is doing minimum fundraising for his Senate race. In spite of this apparent imperilment, Kentucky Democrats at present are not certain they have anyone to run in the Senate race.