One of the most exciting things about modern politics has been watching the Fighter Pilot Party be born. It first launched into our political vocabulary when Party founder Mike Garcia defeated Democrat Christy Smith in the CA-25 special election.
And now in Kentucky, Amy McGrath is running in the Democratic Primary as a Fighter Pilot Party member. Check out this recent advertisement:
And the art from her campaign’s webpage:
You would never even know that Amy McGrath is a Democrat. But she is. And despite out-raising State Rep Charles Booker, her closest opponent in the Dem Primary, by more than $40 million, McGrath’s campaign is in a dogfight to advance to the general election. Booker has been eating in to her lead noticeably and to many, it is now in doubt whether or not McGrath will win her primary and earn the right to face Kentucky’s Top Gun, Sen. Mitch McConnell.
But why is this race tightening?
State Representative Charles Booker has seized on the George Floyd protests to galvanize both the black vote and the guilty white people vote. It’s also a bigger issue in his home town of Louisville, where there is huge public outcry over Breonna Taylor’s death.
Booker recently secured the endorsement of former Secretary of State Alison Lundergren Grimes, who is basically the Commonwealth’s sweetheart when it comes to being a dynasty Democrat who gets crushed by Mitch McConnell whenever she runs for high office.
Charles Booker also got endorsed by massively popular sports radio host, Matt Jones, who is sort of Kentucky’s Ryan Seacrest.
And from the national scene, Bernie Sanders, Alex Ocasio-Cortez, and Keith Ellison all endorsed Charlies Booker. He’s also lined-up an impressive array of endorsements from also-ran state law makers and the state’s two largest newspapers.
But I am not buying it. I think this surge of Twitter-addicts and hardcore liberals to Charles Booker’s ticket is fake news and that Amy McGrath will win comfortably in Kentucky. And if I am wrong, it will be obvious early on during election night and I will be able to flip my position for an easy gain.
To begin with, Kentucky is not exactly the home of woke liberal Democrats. In the 2019 Gubernatorial primary, Andy Beshear and Rocky Adkins, two candidates who ran as centrists, absolutely smoked the liberal white guilt ticket, which was Adam Edelen and Gil Holland’s.
Second, demographics don’t really favor a diversity candidate in Kentucky. The state is only 8 percent black. That said, those 8 percent of voters are certainly over-represented in the Democratic electorate. Really the point that I am making here is that I am skeptical that there is a strong appetite for a statewide candidate like Booker because (1) African Americans themselves are only a small portion of the state’s population; (2) there isn’t a very deep pool of Kentuckians who are susceptible to Woke Born Again-ism or AOC-style politics; and (3) even if there was, Charles Booker probably doesn’t have the name ID to capture it.
Remember, Booker is a first-term state rep. How many people outside of Twitter and big cities even know who he is? Before receiving national attention in the past week, Booker had only raised about $800,000 to McGrath’s $40 million. As of mid-May, McGrath had a cash-on-hand advantage of almost 70-to-1. Again, who in Hazard, Boone, or LaRue County has ever even heard of Booker? There certainly is not much time left for him to catch up.
The test case for this will be in Jefferson County (Louisville), Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties (Cincinnati), and Fayette County (Lexington), where there are lots of suburbanites who might have recently experienced an awokening, and may be re-aligning towards the AOC-Bernie-Booker ticket.
Outside of these metro areas, I expect for Charles Booker to get fewer than 100 votes total. Maybe he will get 0. I just do not know how many corn farmers there are who are actively smashing the retweet button on AOC’s twitter feed. Some people say, “But Keendawg, Bernie almost won here in 2016.” But they are forgetting that Bernie had a national movement, tons of cash, and was white. Whether it’s PC or not to admit, Charles Booker is none of these things and that will hurt him on election day.
How I am going to play this election:
I am building a sizable position on Amy McGrath in the high-60s. As the returns come in, I am going to be comparing them to the county-by-county turnout of the 2019 gubernatorial election between Andy Beshear (D) and Matt Bevin (R). This is because Booker’s strengths will mirror Beshear’s, and McGrath’s strengths will mirror Bevin’s. If Booker doesn’t wildly over-perform Beshear’s numbers in the counties I have listed above — especially Jefferson County, where the vast majority of African Americans are — I think it is game over for him.
So to be crystal clear, I will change my position if the following happens:
- Booker appears to be winning Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties, which are the Cincinnati suburbs and traditionally the most conservative place in Kentucky.
- Booker blows out Andy Beshear’s 2019 margins over Matt Bevin in Jefferson and Fayette Counties.
- Mitch McConnell starts aggressively trolling Amy McGrath, which is a leading indicator that she is going down.
At the end of the day, I expect Amy McGrath to intercept Charles Booker’s attack. The Fighter Pilot Party is going to go 2-for-2, until it faces Mitch McConnell’s integrated air defense system and reaches its predictable end: