ffarmFANCY FARM, Ky.  (8/2/2014) – For 134 years, the Fancy Farm Picnic has been the official political kickoff for the General Election in Kentucky.  In reality, the campaigns have been in full swing for months, and the last 100 days are considered “the stretch” (using a horse racing term).

The picnic is the annual fundraiser for St. Jerome Catholic Church in Fancy Farm (Graves County, Ky.), and it raises thousands of dollars each year for the church.

The political speeches are a throwback to earlier times, when politicians would travel around and speak to people standing on a platform or even a log or stump of a tree.  Terms like “stumping for votes”, “speaking from the stump” or just “stumping” were descriptive of those times.  This year, the politicians spoke from a new stage with an excellent sound system.

The Fancy Farm Picnic is a tough venue for most political speakers.  Many political careers reach an early end at Fancy Farm.  Speaking at Fancy Farm is like speaking during a prison riot or junior high cafeteria food fight.  It is always hot and humid; and, it is usually dusty or muddy.

But, the food, bingo and games bring out the crowds.

A record crowd was in attendance this year.  Some officials estimated the crowd as up 30 percent from last year.  It is a large production and hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent by the campaigns and media to cover Fancy Farm.  Volunteers are bussed in and are coached prior to the speeches.  The volunteers have coaches that direct responses and make noise.  Crowd response is choreographed with the speaker. 

C-SPAN and KET provided live coverage and you can still see the speeches at http://www.ket.org/fancyfarm/.

It is interesting to note that the video of the speakers gives a very different impression than visiting the event and watching the response from those in the crowd.  Listening to the speech and watching the video clips gives you different impressions.  Such is the political world of 30-second ads, Facebook, Twitter, email and 24-hour cable news.

A Kentucky politician that passes on an opportunity to speak at Fancy Farm does so at their own peril.  However, the vast majority of those in attendance, were the political junkies.  They already knew who they supported and for whom they will be voting.  And, they will vote (some as many times as they can).  They are at Fancy Farm to swell the numbers for their candidate(s) and put on a good showing.

Fancy Farm is when the candidates roll out their talking points that they hope will carry them through the November General Election.  This year, was no exception.  In the U.S. Senate race, the stakes could not be higher.  Most political observers believe that control of the U.S. Senate will be determined in Kentucky.  Those that like President Obama will want to vote for Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) to keep Democrats in control of the Senate and push for a more liberal agenda.  Those that oppose Obama will want to vote for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) to give Republicans control of the U.S. Senate, and promote a more conservative agenda.  If Democrats retain control, Harry Reid will likely remain Senate Majority Leader.  If Republicans take control, Mitch McConnell will likely become Senate Majority Leader.

With such high stakes, Kentucky will be the epicenter of politics for the remainder of the year.  Millions of dollars will pour into Kentucky for both candidates.  If the attendance at Fancy Farm is any indication, we can expect a larger turnout than the last off-year election in 2010, when only 48.92 percent of registered Kentucky voters voted.


Here are the statistics today:

Kentucky registered voters

3,114,024

Democrats

1,671,280

Republicans

1,204,491

Male

1,468,139

Female

1,645,705

Total Kentucky Population

4,401,084

KY Population over 18

3,384,433

 

 

Ron Sanders
SurfKY News

 

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Whitfield Announces Nearly $200K Grant to MCC

WASHINGTON (7/27/15) — U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01) announced Monday a federal grant to the Kentucky Community and… Read More

Ospreys Have Left the Nest

KENTUCKY (7/27/15) - A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to continue daytime lane restrictions… Read More
1 DOW 17,440.59
-127.94 (-0.73%)    
2 S&P 2,067.64
-12.01 (-0.58%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,039.78
-48.85 (-0.96%)    

Most Read This Week

July 23, 2015 14229

UPDATE: Family Confirms Body of Missing Teen…

by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News
July 23, 2015 4219

Woman Accused of Striking Juvenile with Metal Belt

by SurfKY News
July 22, 2015 4082

No. 9 Steakhouse Suffers Fire; Owners Vow to…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 3842

Death of Central City Man in Dawson Springs Under…

by SurfKY News
July 22, 2015 3783

UPDATE - GPD Recovers Stolen Vehicle, Arrest Made

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 02, 2015 19255

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 17, 2015 15201

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 27, 2015 3842

Death of Central City Man in Dawson Springs Under…

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 3101

School System Announces Free Lunch/Breakfast at…

by SurfKY News
July 26, 2015 1593

Bikers Ride to Support Teen with Brain Cancer

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 26, 2015 1386

Muhlenberg County Traffic Advisory

by SurfKY News
July 26, 2015 956

Sounds of UK Talents Fill the Summer Air in…

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 902

Family Needs Help in Paying 18-Year-Old's Funeral…

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 881

Baptist Health Names Regional Marketing, Public…

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 777

New Madisonville Public Parking Area Announcement

by SurfKY News
July 26, 2015 768

Contemporary Christian Artist Inspires Muhlenberg…

by Mike Groves, SurfKY News
July 26, 2015 684

Legislator's Log - Week of July 26, 2015

by SurfKY News