OPINION: Ditch Mitch?

In a few months, the polls will be opened.Voters will line up and check off who they think is best to represent Kentucky on Capitol Hill. It’s no secret that Louisville is the most liberal part of this red state: if you drive around town, you will often see more Obama yard signs and “Ditch Mitch” bumper stickers than any other place in the Bluegrass. Louisville is just one town, a big one nonetheless, but still only a fraction of the rest of the state. Do we really have a chance of putting a Democrat in the Senate? In all honesty, most likely not.

First of all, Louisville has a population of roughly 750,000 and was the 16th most populous city in the United States in 2010. However, even if the whole city was Democratic, Louisville is only a small chunk out of the rest of the 4,000,000+ people in Kentucky. Living in Louisville and going to Manual, we can’t deny the liberal influences put on us. Not that it’s bad, but we have to accept that our progressive school does have an effect on our political influences. Maybe not as much as family, but we receive a little more left orientation than right. Given this, we are in a more liberal community which may distort our vision of the larger, more conservative environment surrounding us.

Now let’s take a look at the candidates. Senator Mitch McConnell has been in office since 1985. Think about that: he’s been in the Senate for almost 30 years. Mitch has lasted through changes and twists and turns. New parties in control and new presidents with different ideologies hovering over. Basically, Mitch has seen people/parties come and go and still stuck through. Not only that but he has been famous for bringing money to Kentucky in numerous bills passed, and people like it when they’re on the receiving end of extra funds. And now Mitch McConnell holds the position of Senate Minority Leader. If Republicans take over the Senate this election we’ll see him rise to Senate Majority Leader, and constituents do like their representative to have power, giving their party and state a higher ground. Plus, Mitch has the incumbent advantage, meaning representatives running for reelection usually have much better chances.

However, the Democrats have put forth a prominent candidate in a good year. Alison Lundergan Grimes comes from a political family with strong ties to the Clintons (remember, Bill was the last Democratic President to win Kentucky) that are sure to bring support from Democrats across the country and on Capitol Hill.

Plus, Grimes picked a good year to run. Matt Bevin, the more conservative candidate with the Tea Party backing him, has led an impressive challenge to McConnell for the GOP nomination in more rural areas. Matt Bevin’s campaign is also symbolic for the turmoil going on in the Republican party in general. The more moderate majority is starting to struggle to keep together when the Tea Party continues to be more in favor of radical conservatives such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. This struggle may very well lead to a schism which would weaken the party. Needless to say, an unstable Republican Party means a good shot for Democratic candidates. Alison Lundergan Grimes has a good opportunity in front of her and has yet to make any prominent slipups unlike the experienced McConnell.

So by the time November rolls around again, the polls will surely be an interesting show. This is also important seeing as many Manual students will be able to vote in this election. In the end, I can’t see Mitch losing his seat yet, not with the kind of placement he’s in now. Either way, if you’re voting this year, don’t let this article sway you from the polls or in any other direction than your own. If you have a voice be sure to use it to the full advantage.