Winter Storm Watch in effect from Wednesday, 6:00 AM CST until Thursday, 6:00 AM CST. Source: U.S. National Weather Service
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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

 

© 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...

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (3/2/15) — A Madisonville woman was taken to jail after a Madisonville Police officer made a traffic… Read More

Marshall County among Work Ready in Progress

FRANKFORT, Ky. (3/2/15) — Governor Steve Beshear today announced that Fleming County has been certified as a Kentucky… Read More

Most Read This Week

February 25, 2015 7613

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 7424

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 7248

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 02, 2015 7181

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 6160

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 23, 2015 5246

Fire Departments Respond to Wester's Body Shop

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Shawn Freels

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 02, 2015 7181

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 02, 2015 1939

HCSO, MPD Join to Bust Alleged Drug Trafficking…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
March 01, 2015 1850

HCCHS Student Has Unique Eye for Art

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 01, 2015 1806

4H Penguin Plunge Draws Hundreds to Poolside

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
March 02, 2015 1765

Officers Respond to Complaint of Drug Use; Arrest…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 01, 2015 1376

Legislator's Log - Week of March 1, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Brent Yonts
March 01, 2015 1358

Dave Says - March 1, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Dave Ramsey
March 01, 2015 1325

Libraries’ Drawing Contest Begins March 2

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Amie Waltrip
March 01, 2015 1322

Whitfield Meets with American Financial Services…

in General News For All Sites by Robert Hankins
March 01, 2015 1290

Kentucky Offers Tax Credit to Small Business…

in General News For All Sites by Joe Hall