The Daily Signal 4 November 2015
Kim Davis has confounded the pollsters and propelled an underdog candidate, Matt Bevin, to victory in the Kentucky governor’s race. Nearly two-thirds of voters in Ohio have rejected marijuana. And citizens in Houston have vetoed their city council and rejected a bad policy on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Conventional wisdom is that social liberalism is an electoral winner, but that’s not true. At least not in the swing states of Kentucky and Ohio, and not even in the liberal city of Houston. And definitely not last night.
There is a lesson to be learned: Conservatives can win when they refuse to be bullied by elites into silence. Making the public argument against bad policy and in support of good policy can win the day. It just did.
As the Washington Post’s “Daily 202” notes, a major factor in Bevin’s victory—a Republican in a state that has elected Democrats as governor for 40 of the past 44 years—was “Focusing on social issues, including promises to defund Planned Parenthood and defend Kim Davis, [which] helped drive the conservative base to turn out.”
No one was predicting Bevin would win, especially not after he publicly defended Kim Davis and vigorously criticized the current governor for his handling of that situation. As I argued in the New York Times, Kim Davis didn’t need to go to jail, if only the political leaders of Kentucky been willing to work together to find a commonsense compromise.
The media made a circus of the situation, and now Governor-elect Bevin has the opportunity to work with the state legislature to enact commonsense religious accommodation law for clerks and magistrates , like North Carolina has done.