LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Judges. Hemp. Taxes. Trump.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) kicked off his 2020 re-election campaign Wednesday, with a Twitter video highlighting what he sees as his accomplishments for the country and the Commonwealth.
The video, published on McConnell’s “Team Mitch” campaign website was produced with fast-paced editing and dramatic music. It’s a message intended to appeal to conservative voters.
“Whether you like his politics or not, clearly he is an incumbent,” UofL Political Science professor Dewey Clayton said. “He has those advantages, he has a fundraising advantage. He’s a formidable opponent against anyone.”
The campaign video pivots to pocketbook issues, including his move to establish industrial hemp as a commodity through the latest Farm Bill, and his work pushing through tax cuts.
Perhaps the strongest point in McConnell’s video is the support he has from President Donald Trump. The president can be heard praising McConnell numerous times, something that might deter any opposition from within his own party.
“Governor Bevin’s running for e-election,” political consultant Les Fugate said. “I don’t see any scenario, where a republican, credible republican, takes on Senator McConnell in any meaningful challenge.”
With a year and a half to the 2020 election, no Democrat has publicly discussed intentions to run. Whoever takes the challenge, fundraising may not be a problem.
“You get a credible candidate from Kentucky,” State Sen. Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville) said, “they’re going to be a able to raise money from everywhere, not just within the state from people who want McConnell gone, but people from all over the country who want a change in the leadership in Washington.”
McConnell was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and assumed the top leadership position in 2015.
On Wednesday, McConnell was named to TIME Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people of 2019.