Why has the numbered of registered Democrat voters dropped in Kentucky?

06/26/2018 09:07 AM

BURLINGTON – The State Board of Elections voter registration figures released last week showing that the number of overall registered Democrats dropped below 50 percent to 49.93 percent caught the eye of Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown, where the red tide began back in the early 1990’s.

While Democrats still outnumber Republicans who are at 41.48 percent of registered voters statewide, in Boone County alone, the number of registered Republicans went from 38,351 in 2008 to 56,003 win 2018, while Democrats saw just under a 5,000 registered voter increase from 27,830 in 2008 to the current 32,647.

“My perspective is that the Democratic party has moved so far left, away from a lot of conservative Democrats back in the day,” Brown said. “Kentucky is like most of middle America, it’s center right, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican.”

Brown believes that another factor leading to the Republican onslaught have been the non-traditional, non-establishment candidates which have emerged over the past 8 years.

“It’s kind of manifested in the success of Rand Paul, and the success of Thomas Massie, so even if you weren’t happy maybe with establishment Republicans, but if you had a Libertarian streak or constitutional conservative, I mean look at the success of Tom Massie or Rand Paul,” Brown said. “They’re younger gentleman and able to articulate a conservative message that’s constitutionally sound, that talks about limited government, less taxes and things that appeal to the people who are carrying the tab, the taxpayers of Kentucky.”

Brown hears the message from Democrats that they will rise in November and unseat many GOP legislators, but feels that a lot of that is just rhetoric which comes from being in the minority.

“It’s easy to be in the minority,” Brown said. “You can be against everything and you can stir up a lot of things, but when you’re in the majority, you have to actually govern, and that’s when you become more accountable.”

Brown admits that the GOP has had its ups and downs in 2018.

“We’ve had some success on things but we’ve also had some things that you can’t tell the dimes worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans,” Brown said. “We want Republicans from this area to be and to stand up for what the platform says, what they signed up for. So, lower taxes, smaller government, individual responsibility, not rights for everything.”

The Boone County Republican believes that while the GOP legislators did a decent job during the 2018 session, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

“In my opinion, they were in leadership for the first time, and obviously with some of the scandals and things that went on with the Speaker and leadership down there, it wasn’t handled well from a PR perspective,” Brown said. “Now we’re finding out that some of these things are being overturned because they might not have had the proper amount of readings, according to Judge Shepherd, so, that will play out in court. I think that there was a lot of room for improvement as far as PR to handle the situation.”

Brown, who was an early backer of Gov. Matt Bevin, feels that the governor and the GOP led General Assembly have made progress in righting the ship, but admits that the administration and Republican legislators do have shortcomings in some areas.

“I think the thing that he lacked, and the Republicans lacked, is a institutional type knowledge to come in and take over state government,” Brown said. “Unless you’ve had years of people being in these spots and understand all of the different spots in transportation, and revenue, all of these different departments, it is just a monstrocity,” Brown said. “You have to have a lot of people around you, and hopefully they’re all like minded to have your back to be successful.” I think that’s one of the things that happened to the Republican party, Matt won, he wasn’t surrounded by people who were in state government forever to come in and help him.”


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