KENTUCKY -- A THREE-PARTY STATE
THE STRUGGLE for political power in Kentucky is a many-sided affair. The center of the state's political stage is held by the periodic conflicts that take place within the Democratic party between shifting coalitions of political leaders for control of that party. These factional battles are decisive because nomination on the state's Democratic ticket has been virtually tantamount to election since the Civil War. The Republican party, however, is strong enough to capitalize on any defections in Democratic ranks which occur as the result of intraparty rows. Therefore, the battle between the two parties is also an important part of the political picture in Kentucky, but is often only another side of the struggle within the Democratic party.
Immediately offstage, but no less important in Kentucky politics, are the people and organizations loosely described as the "Interests." The Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company; the liquor, racetrack, coal, and farm interests have oftentimes been the moving figures behind the drama of Kentucky politics and politicians. Kentuckians describe their state as conservative because of the success this particular category of interest group has often enjoyed in nominating and electing candidates of its choice, and in obtaining the passage or defeat of measures affecting their interests.
Political organization is the environment within which the postures of the principals of the political