Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The "m" word

We've already seen the "m" word -- mandate -- pop up in a few places to describe Steve Beshear's victory yesterday, particularly in the analyses of what his election will mean for the future of casino gambling in Kentucky.

Beshear's election was no mandate. He received around 58 percent of the statewide vote, which is roughly equivalent to the percentage of registered Democrats in the population of Kentucky. Gov. Ernie Fletcher received around 42 percent of the vote, which is more than the percentage of registered Republicans in Kentucky.

This election boils down to a party-line vote. That's not a mandate by any means. When a candidate from the minority party wins, as Fletcher did four years ago, that's a mandate. When the candidate from the majority party wins by a margin significantly greater than voter registration figures, that's a mandate. When the vote breaks down along party lines, that's the furthest thing possible from a mandate.

If Beshear and his supporters are going into office thinking they have a mandate, they are badly fooled.

3 Comments:

At 11:16 AM, November 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am for one glad to hear that it was a party line vote and not one where Republicans turned on one another.

 
At 11:45 AM, November 07, 2007, Blogger K-Pac II said...

Actually, 11:16, there was a lot of intra-party stuff going on here. The party hierarchy's support for Fletcher was lukewarm, to say the least, despite the joint appearances in the final days of the campaign. Those were more for show than a genuine effort for Fletcher. The anti-Fletcher factions from the primary never really came back to the party. When prominent statewide bloggers like Osi and Steve Manning endorse Beshear, and when purported Republicans post their support for Beshear over Fletcher on bluegrassreport.org, there's definitely fratricide in play.

But there was some Democrat dissatisfaction with Beshear, too. For the numbers to have come out the way they did, given the well-publicized lack of support for Fletcher within some GOP quarters, that indicates a bit of aisle-crossing from D to R. Also, the numbers indicate that the independent vote went to Fletcher.

 
At 11:54 AM, November 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you're happy with yourselves.

 

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