Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | September 15, 2003

Chandler running even in Kentucky

Dem candidate Ben Chandler's anti-Bush campaign continues to enjoy great success in Bush-friendly Kentucky.

The latest from Survey USA: (July numbers in parenthesis)

Fletcher (R) 45 (48)
Chandler (D) 45 (43)
Other 7 (6)
Undecided 3
Survey USA uses automatic dialers, and computers ask the questions, not humans. I was down on SUSA last election cycle, but they've made great strides with their methodology and provided some of the most accurate results of the 2002 election cycle (for example, they were the only ones to call the Oklahoma governorship for the Dems).

And in any case, even the shittiest polls can measure trends, and in this case, the trends are clearly in Chandler's favor.

And that trend is important in another important aspect of the modern political campaign -- fundraising.

Fund-raising also seems to reflect a Chandler surge. Although Fletcher maintains a clear financial lead with about $1 million more in the bank than Chandler, Chandler made significant fund-raising strides in August, according to the latest reports filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

Chandler raised $1.014 million in August compared to Fletcher's $1.086 million in the same time period. That's the first time Chandler has come even close to raising the same kind of cash as the well-funded Fletcher. Political observers and experts are also noting that Chandler is closing (or has closed) the gap.

Chandler isn't necessarily a progressive Democrat. He's of the southern variety. But his victory will mean more to Dem chances in 2004 than any other this off-year cycle.

If Chandler can ride his aggressiveness to electoral victory, he will show Democrats nationwide that it pays to run against Bush. Chandler can discredit the notion that Bush-lite campaigning is the safest route to electoral victory.

And he would remind Democrats that running like a Democrat is not inherently bad. People want choices, and given the choice between a Republican and Republican-lite, people will go with the real Republican every day of the week.

(The real lesson of 2002.)

Posted September 15, 2003 09:52 AM | Comments (62)


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