If you had any doubts that the Affordable Care Act would be an issue in the 2014 elections, they were quickly put to rest during Monday’s edition of Kentucky Tonight. The discussion rapidly and repeatedly turned from next year’s races to health care, as members of our panel tried to see who could best defend the rollout of Obamacare or point out its flaws.
When we were able to talk about political campaigns, much of the discussion focused on what many pundits think will be the most-watched U.S. Senate race in 2014: the contest between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, and Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin.
During the program, Bill Garmer, the former chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, questioned what Mitch McConnell stands for after three decades in the Senate. Tres Watson, chair of the Kentucky Young Republican Federation, challenged that statement by accusing President Obama of creating a “nanny” state in the nation – which opened the door to more conversation about Obamacare from Jennifer Moore, chair of Emerge Kentucky and a former chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, and Nathan Haney, chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party. Here’s a look at that portion of the show:
Everyone agreed that coal would be a significant issue in the Senate race, with McConnell and Grimes having to explain their positions on mining as well as on diversification efforts in and economic aid to eastern Kentucky. Fundraising will also be critical, both in terms of the money the candidates will need to raise for their campaigns, and Sen. McConnell’s ongoing efforts to eliminate limits on political contributions.
In the closing minutes of the program, we touched on next month’s special election to fill the state house seat recently vacated by John Arnold. Two female candidates are competing in that western Kentucky contest: Republican Suzanne Miles and Democrat Kim Humphrey.
And we discussed the prospects of first-time Representative Andy Barr winning re-election in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District. You can watch the full program on our website.