KY Democrats' hold on state House make them a southern anomaly, target in 2012

11/14/2011 09:08 PM

After Mississippi Republicans took over the state House last week for the first time since after the Civil War, that left the Kentucky state House and the Arkansas House and Senate as the only legislative chambers in the south under Democratic control.

So U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell told GOP activists on Saturday that going after the Kentucky’s state House should be Republicans’ top goal in 2012.

“Let’s make history in Kentucky and take the House of Representatives,” he said. Watch his full remarks about that:

But Kentucky House Democrats hold 59 seats. Republicans currently have 40, although the open seat to replace GOP Rep. Dewayne Bunch is in a heavily Republican area. And Republicans are favored in the eventual special election to replace Rep. James Comer of Tompkinsville, who was elected agriculture commissioner last week.

That would mean Republicans would need a net gain of 10 seats in order to flip control.

Comer, though, said Republicans will have a tough time defeating many entrenched incumbent Democrats. Instead, he said the GOP would largely focus on open seats.

- Video by Don Weber

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