Kentucky — Bourbon and Republicans — It’s a Good State

The Note pointed this article out. I would have otherwise missed it, but I agree with them that it is a very importannt must read.

Kentucky is among a handful of states close to the Deep South — including West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas — that Bill Clinton carried in 1992 and 1996, but that George W. Bush won in 2000. Experts predict that the Democrats probably need to win some of them back to capture the presidency in 2004. .

Democrats once held unquestioned sway in Kentucky. But no more. The state recently elected its first GOP governor in 32 years. The GOP also has made gains from the coal fields in the east to the white-fenced horse stables of suburban Lexington. And this political transformation in Kentucky illustrates the hurdles Democrats will face as they battle to win moderate-to-conservative states in next year’s presidential election.

Politicos like Black now view their national party as a liability. They have a stern word of advice for a Howard Dean or any other Democratic presidential nominee who might come calling to reclaim a state that went for Bush: You’re in trouble.

The state’s 4 million residents — 91% of them white, many the direct descendants of the original 18th century pioneering landowners — have rallied behind the Republican agenda of tax cuts, a well-funded military and increased domestic security.

Meanwhile, local Democrats say they have been hurt by the positions their national leaders take on divisive social issues, such as support for same-sex unions and abortion rights.

Kentucky, being a historic border state is subject to sways of moderation in politics. While they have been solidly Democratic, voters in the state have trended Republican. I think it is safe to say they’ve cross the center lane and are now solidly in the right lane.

Read the whole article. It paints a picture that should scare the Democrats.