Former State Treasurer and former Democratic candidate for Governor Jonathan Miller, who I respect a great deal, recently penned an article for the ubber Liberal Daily Beast in which he made some bold assessments. One of his assessments was that Alison Lundergan Grimes's so-called polling turn around in the last 4 weeks is a result of a fervent anti-establishment sentiment among Kentuckians.
He attempted to coin a new term if Alison Lundergan Grimes lucks out and defeats Mitch McConnell on election day, the Chuck Todd Effect. Well, I am sad to inform Jonathan Miller that 80% or more of Kentuckians that will ultimately vote on election day have absolutely no idea who Chuck Todd is. The only major exposure most Kentuckians will ever get of Todd is via a McConnell attack ad which features Todd and his comments that Alison Lundergan Grimes disqualified herself because she stupidly refused, and continues to refuse, to answer the question if she voted for Obama in the past two Presidential elections.
There is no Chuck Todd effect and I am disappointed that Jonathan would even suggest such a thing. Miller is a very smart, if not the most intelligent of all of Kentucky's young political stars so he should know better. Quoting Jack Conway will certainly get him nowhere and the only reason he is heavily favored in next years's Democratic Primary for Governor is the fact the he is the only A lister in the race! Comparing Jack Conway's debacle of a campaign in 2010 to the this year's race is justifiable but not in the manner in which Jonathan Miller describes. Conway had ZERO chance from the beginning.
Viewing the polling data from 2010 it is easy to see that, aside from a couple of polling anomalies, Conway had NO chance. So how could Miller even compare the two races in this manner. Miller asserts a ridiculous notion that Conway's infamous Aqua-Buddha campaign ad painted Conway as an establishment bully and that Conway never "recovered" from the effects of that ad. Jeeez, Jonathan Miller is better than this.
If you consider the polling between Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes it is clear that Grimes was in a much better position. Her chances are based on two key factors at this time:
1. Repairing her relationship with her pissed off base supporters
2. Accentuating to the max the fervent anti McConnell sentiment running deep across this Commonwealth.
I hope she has time to achieve number 1 but I fear that the damage is done. If Miller wants to talk about a so-called Chuck Todd effect he should reverse this description of such a phenomena. I would dare to say that any effect Chuck Todd may have on this race may be the opposite in the manner described by Miller. Todd and other Liberal Media figures are hammering Grimes almost on a daily basis. If anyone actually watches this venom filled commentary it would be her Liberal and more left of center base in Louisville and Lexington. So she will not win because Chuck Todd is running his mouth she will likely lose because of it.
On number 2 I am glad to hear that Grimes is beginning to campaign on term limits. She should have launched that issue weeks ago. Unless she commences a full court press on TV and Radio I really have my doubts that this very important message will have time to permeate the consciousness of the normal folk in Kentucky.
So while Grimes continues to try and out Republican the king of the GOP establishment Jonathan Miller may want to take note. If I were in his position I would be advising her, or would have been advising her, on what she needs to do in Louisville and Lexington among her base to maintain a positive level of enthusiasm. Because this enthusiasm will determine if she wins or loses. And like we stated before when you lose the support of those who have supported you from the beginning, you're screwed.