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Does Alabama Open The Door For KY Dems? A UK Political Analyst Weighs In

AP Photo/John Bazemore
Doug Jones is greeted by a supporter before speaking during an election-night watch party Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017.

A University of Kentucky political analyst says Democrat Doug Jones’ surprise win in Alabama – another solidly red state – doesn’t likely hold many keys for Kentucky Democrats.

While Republican Roy Moore’s loss Tuesday is being hailed by many pundits as a bellwether for 2018, UK Prof. Stephen Voss sees the GOP dealing with a now-familiar problem. 

"I think the Alabama race said very little about anything," Voss says. "What it shows us is the same problem the Republicans had with Tea Party-nominated candidates in prior elections, which is sometimes they can win in the Republican primary but they end up saddling the GOP with somebody who's practically unelectable."

But Voss notes Democrats are also being pulled farther left at the same time. And in Kentucky, he says the political conversation remains such that Republicans continue to enjoy an advantage.

"As long as we're fighting politically over the nature of the culture, over the importance of moral values, you're going to see Kentucky being a fairly red, fairly Republican state," he predicts.

Voss says it often takes a major shift – like a financial or foreign policy crisis – to move the conversation and the mood of the electorate.

Hear WUKY's full interview with Dr. Stephen Voss below.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.