There are three political issue driven parties in West Kentucky. One is the Democratic Party, mirrored by the Republican Party. Both of these institutions have been in play for about 50 years of tradition and issues. Each has established core beliefs on selected issues comfortable to a "white male voter" power base. A third group is just now taking shape. They are the independent/climate change/Trump resistance folks who are merging into a strong base outside the more traditional Kentucky political parties.
The eight counties of the Jackson Purchase voted 3 to 1 for Donald Trump in 2016. His base is very strong in the region. Local Democrats are fighting a rear guard political war primarily in two counties: (1) McCracken-Paducah (2) Calloway-Murray.
For several months, there have been strong Democratic and Republican Party efforts to establish dynamic ground organizations for this election cycle. Each of the major political parties have held town halls, open issue meetings, briefings, meet and greet potential new voters as well as old party faithful.
Calloway County and the City of Murray got a late start to campaigning for voters.
On September 15, the Democrats got serious in Murray, Kentucky by opening their command center. The Calloway County Democratic Headquarters is located at 712 Main Street (old Higgins House). Working hours for walk in visits are from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Open House for the Headquarters drew over 100 candidates, government officials, business leaders, senior citizens and students. The gathering discussed their basic issues including:
- Belief in policies that benefit all Kentuckians
- A Pension is a Promise
- No room for hate in Murray
- Support for full funding of education K-12, adult education and full university
- New training, innovation and support for Kentucky working families
Against these issues are the foundational Republican policy issues of gun rights, anti-abortion, charter schools, support of coal fuel plants, denial of any manmade climate crisis, and strong "Fortress America" Trade Wars.
The remaining six counties of the Jackson Purchase are witnessing the phenomena of a third political force taking shape. Led by aging environmentalists, in partnership with teachers, students from high schools and millennials, a new framework for political justice is taking shape.
Leadership for this anti Tea Party movement includes the Sierra Club, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Climate Change Alliance, and Indivisible Chapter. These groups are each organizing potential voters to replace old guard Republicans as well as Democrats in the building a 21st Century Kentucky.
Their power lies in the geo-political realism that 45% of the current vote is for Trump while another 45% is for anyone but Trump. That leaves about 10% of potential voters who are not just traditional Independents, but new age thinkers who want to move Kentucky forward instead of fighting four years to stay in place or lose ground for a modern state.
Winning is now all about who is better at turning their voter base out. Who wins in 2019 is but opening the door to the major political offensive in 2020 known as the Presidential Election.