Matt Bevin’s election on Tuesday may cut off one-in-ten Kentuckians from access to health care. Also, nationwide polls that show Ben Carson or Donald Trump atop the GOP primary race ignore the structure of primary elections. (More)

“They lose their very humanity”

An estimated 400,000 people will lose access to health care if Governor-elect Matt Bevin follows through on his promise to dismantle the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky:

We cannot continue, as the Medicaid reimbursement model exists today, to offer Medicaid at 138% of the federal poverty level. We simply cannot afford it. I would repeal the expansion as it currently exists, and seek a Section 1115 waiver from the Center for Medicaid Services. This would allow us to customize a plan that works better for Kentucky.

Bizarrely, Bevin even claimed that ensuring the working poor have access to health care causes heroin addiction:

When you have a state where 25% of the people are on Medicaid, you rob people of the dignity and self-respect that comes from providing for themselves. This, in turn, robs them of hope. When people are robbed of hope, they lose their very humanity, and this, in turn, leads people to make inhumane decisions about themselves and their around them. These inhumane decisions lead to personal choices that result in things like the heroin epidemic.

Yes, really. And he won.

“Put on your boots and your big-boy pants”

An estimated 400,000 Kentuckians get health care through expanded Medicaid. That’s 9% of the population, not the 25% that Bevin claimed. Then again, you probably shouldn’t trust statistics from a guy who says the working poor are less human.

Regardless, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D) knows he’s in for a battle:

On Tuesday night, a shocked Stumbo was girding for a fight with his slim majority on one side and Republican governor and anti-ACA groups like Americans for Prosperity on the other. AFP had marched through much bluer states, and broken the support for the ACA, halting the Medicaid expansion and the construction of KYnect-style exchanges. Some states had botched the exchanges and handed control to the feds. But no state had rolled back the programs, as Bevin seemed ready to do.

“I’m gonna fight for KYnect because I believe it would be inhumane to take health insurance away from hundreds of thousands of people,” Stumbo said. “The problem is that we never statutorily approved it. It’s gonna be a battle in this next session to see what happens with that program. Everybody: Put on your boots and your big-boy pants.”

When turnout is less than 31%, just one-sixth of a state’s registered voters become an electoral majority.


“The Republican Party’s delegate geography rewards their moderate rivals”

You’ve probably seen that Ben Carson now leads the nationwide GOP primary polls. But betting markets have Carson as a 10% long shot to win the GOP nomination, with Marco Rubio as the favorite at 36%. Are they betting on a pipe dream?

Not really. Instead, smart bettors recognize something the pundits largely ignore … there will be no nationwide primary election. FiveThirtyEight’s David Wasserman explains why the state primary structure favors ‘moderates’ like Rubio over radical conservatives like Carson or Ted Cruz:

In reality, the GOP nominating contest will be decided by an intricate, state-by-state slog for the 2,472 delegates at stake between February and June. And thanks to the Republican National Committee’s allocation rules, the votes of “Blue Zone” Republicans – the more moderate GOP primary voters who live in Democratic-leaning states and congressional districts – could weigh more than those of more conservative voters who live in deeply red zones. Put another way: The Republican voters who will have little to no sway in the general election could have some of the most sway in the primary.

Wasserman cites data compiled by the New York Times’ Nate Cohn, and continues:

The key to this pattern: “Blue-state Republicans are less religious, more moderate and less rural than their red-state counterparts,” Cohn concluded after crunching Pew Research survey data. By Cohn’s math, Republicans in states that Obama won in 2012 were 15 percentage points likelier to support Romney in the 2012 primary and 9 points likelier to support McCain in 2008 than their red-state compatriots. Romney and McCain’s advantage in blue states made it “all but impossible for their more conservative challengers to win the nomination,” Cohn wrote.

He concludes:

But the bigger boon to Rubio, Bush and other moderates is that the opinions of GOP voters in places like Massachusetts count at all in this process – in an era when the Bay State sends zero Republicans to Congress. It’s a huge factor that many pundits tend to overlook, and it’s why the temperament and qualities that the broader party looks for in a nominee differ so much from those of the loudest and most ideological Freedom Caucus types in Washington.

It’s not that national polls are skewed in favor of conservative, red-meat Republicans. It’s that the Republican Party’s delegate geography rewards their moderate rivals.

Pundits overlook that structural advantage, but smart bettors don’t. Neither do the other WHannabes’ campaign staffs, and that’s why they’ve begun tearing into Rubio.


Photo Credit: Win McNamee (Getty Images)


Good day and good nuts