How are we so sure? Here’s why: $2.35.
$2.35 is the amount McConnell’s home state of Kentucky receives back in federal money for every $1.00 it pays in to the federal government, in taxes, etc. That’s according to a report by the Rockefeller Institute of Government from earlier this year. It’s the highest return for any state except Virginia. And of course Virginia is going to be the highest, because it borders on Washington, D.C., so it’s chock full of U.S. government workers who are getting paid with federal money. So really, of all the “normal” states, Kentucky’s return is the best.
Let’s put it another way: if you had a $1,000,000 equities portfolio, and your money manager turned it into $2,350,000 in one year, and then continued to do that every year, why would you ever fire that person? Or even more simply: if you handed someone a dollar bill and they just turned around and gave you $2.35 back. Would you tell that person to go away? That’s a better than 100% return. Heck, that’s even better than Bernie Madoff did all those years (until he didn’t).
So just because a Democrat just won the Governorship in that state, doesn’t mean McConnell’s ouster is any closer to being anything but a Merrick Garland (or Barack Obama) fan’s revenge dream. Don’t kid yourself. So far, all his opponents have achieved is getting the nickname “Moscow Mitch” (which apparently irritates him) to stick a little.
The candidate most strongly and directly backed by McConnell in those recent elections won. Daniel Cameron becoming the first African-American Attorney General in the history of the state.
Sure, if Democrats field a great candidate against McConnell who’s willing to fight dirty they’ve always got a chance. But not much of one, we don’t think. That’s not to underestimate Democrat Amy McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot who has raised a fair amount of money in her bid to battle McConnell. But stories like the Daily Beast one we’ve linked to here are nonsense, at least at this point.
People who live in Kentucky, even if they despise some of the things McConnell does or doesn’t do, can’t ignore the fact that they’ve got the most powerful Senator around. Not only because of his title, and his sole responsibility for setting the Senate’s legislative agenda, but also because he’s literally lining his constituents’ pockets with cash. Yes, a lot of that cash is coming into the state because Kentucky’s got a lot of problems, from high opioid addiction rates to high health bills for coal miners. But to most, the fact that the cash is coming in: that’s what matters, not so much the “why”. Because there are a lot of other states with similar problems, and they’re not getting quite so much. The difference for Kentucky being “their guy” is running the Senate. It’s very “old school” politics, yes. But money keeps people in power.