When Daniel Cameron’s loss to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was announced Tuesday night, Trump supporters were quick to blame Senator Mitch McConnell. In light of another race, this finger-pointing doesn’t ring true.
Beshear won by five points. In recent polling, the match between Cameron and Beshear was supposed to be statistically tied. Polls aren’t always correct, as Republicans are painfully aware, and this looks like another case of elevated expectations going into election day that proved to be misplaced. A five-point victory is a solid victory.
Trump supporters blasted McConnell over Cameron’s loss. On Saturday, Trump sent out a message that Cameron was not McConnell’s guy. Today, Trump said Cameron lost because he was too identified with McConnell. Which one is it, Mr. Trump? More to the point, how does this opinion square up with reality?
What about Jonathan Shell’s victory? Who is Jonathan Shell? He is the senior senator from Kentucky’s campaign chairman and a long-time aide. He won a statewide race for Agriculture Commissioner by a victory of 59.4% to 40.6%. That is a resounding 19 point victory. According to Election Night Reporting in Kentucky, Shell received 761,937 votes. His well-funded Democrat opponent, Sierra J. Enlow, received 521,747 votes.
So, Cameron supporters will have to re-think the finger-pointing, if they want to look at what really happened on Election Night.
Shell is a former Republican state legislator. The seat was an open seat. Cameron lost but Republicans won the six other down-ballot races — including attorney general — by double-digit margins.
Shell capitalized on Biden’s extremely low approval ratings in Kentucky – at 22% – and vowed to fight off radical liberal ideas.
Elected to the State House in his mid-20s, Mr. Shell, now 35, was once hailed by Senator Mitch McConnell as “one of the most important Republicans in Kentucky.”
Mr. Shell, a fifth-generation farmer, nationalized the agriculture contest, vowing to do battle “against radical liberal ideas that threaten our way of life” and to help defeat President Biden, whose voter approval ratings in Kentucky are down to 22 percent.
Don’t look for Shell to go along with the climate extremists who have a dream of eliminating cattle ranches, for example, in order to save the planet.
It’s easy for others to blame McConnell, I suppose, as he has been in his position of power for years. But, Cameron’s loss likely has more to do with his affiliation with Trump. Chris Christie said that Cameron sold his soul to Trump in order to win the election.
Daniel Cameron made a huge mistake by embracing Donald Trump and selling his soul to him. And that’s what he did. And the voters in Kentucky, a very red state, as you noted, gave their verdict on politicians who sell their souls to Donald Trump.
Granted, Chris Christie has a grudge match going with Trump. His opinion sounds more like hyperbole in order to capture attention, something Christie is known to do. However, there is criticism that Cameron relied too heavily on Trump’s support instead of getting his message out to voters on his agenda if he won the governor’s office.
Most people don’t pay a lot of attention to endorsements. A big endorsement can garner press coverage but in the long run, do they really make a difference? I don’t think so. In this case, it looks like Trump grousing that another one of his endorsed candidates lost a big race. Trump hasn’t had a lot of success with gubernatorial endorsements.