Diary

The Republican Party is growing in Kentucky

The Republican Party of Kentucky is reaching out:

Deadline Approaching for Participating in GOP Presidential Caucus

There are just two days until the voter registration deadline for Kentuckians who want to vote in the state’s first ever presidential caucus on March 5. Only voters who are registered as Republicans by December 31 will be eligible to vote in the caucus.

To register to vote or change party affiliation, a voter registration card can be obtained and submitted at a county clerk’s office, or it can be downloaded at elect.ky.gov and mailed to the State Board of Elections.

The Republican Party of Kentucky’s governing body decided in August to select its preference for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination through a caucus instead of the usual presidential primary. On March 5, Republican voters will come to caucus locations anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to vote for their Republican nominee for president by secret paper ballot. The caucus will give Kentucky Republicans an earlier say and possibly more influence in choosing the next president.

“Kentucky is getting more attention from presidential candidates and seeing more campaign activity here than ever before,” said state party Chairman Mac Brown. “The decision to hold our first ever presidential caucus has given Kentucky Republicans a greater role in selecting our nominee for president.”

To date, nine candidates have filed to be on the caucus ballot: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ], John Kasich, [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ], [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ], Donald Trump, Chris Christie, and Carly Fiorina. The filing deadline for candidates is January 7. Kentucky’s delegates to the Republican National Convention will be awarded proportionally to candidates based on the results of the caucus.

Brown urged Democratic and Independent voters to switch their party registration to Republican before the December 31 deadline.

“Last month, thousands of Democrats and Independents supported Matt Bevin as he won 106 out of 120 counties in his successful bid for governor. I invite them to join the Republican Party, vote in the March 5 presidential caucus, and work with us to move Kentucky forward,” stated Brown.

Since November 2008, Republican voter registration in Kentucky has grown by nearly 207,000 voters, while Democratic registration has grown by just over 20,000.

Republican voters can learn more about the caucus by visiting the state party’s caucus website at www.rpk.org/caucus.

Now is the time for the Kentucky Republican Party to capitalize on Governor Bevin’s victory last November. Kentucky is the last Southern state in which the Republicans don’t control both chambers of the state legislature, but the state party is making a strong bid to overturn the Democrats 50-46 advantage in the state House of Representatives. Alas! Though the Bluegrass State is my once and future home, I’m not living there now, so I cannot participate in the caucuses.

The state GOP is making the right moves in encouraging voters to switch parties. I can still remember Dr Malcolm Jewell, a political science professor back in the dark ages — the early 1970s — at the University of Kentucky teaching us that the number one indicator of a person’s party identification was his parents’ party identification, and that helped keep the South Democratic for a long time after they went Republican in presidential voting. But, as another UK PoliSci professor, Mickey East, used to say, tempus is fugiting, and the notion that the media have uncritically accepted, that Southern Democrats switched to the GOP is misleading; what really happened is that the children of some Southern Democrats became Republicans before developing strong Democratic party loyalty, and older Democrats were steadily going to their eternal rewards. It is the next generation of Southern voters who have become Republicans. With an increased Republican population, the state GOP now has the opportunity to bring over those younger, but still moderate to conservative Southern Democrats who are Democrats because their parents were, over to the Republican Party.