Kentucky 4th District
Along the Ohio River are some very different parts of Kentucky. Ashland, near the West Virginia border, is industrial, the home of Ashland Oil; the river here is bound in by tight hills that hold smoke and soot close in the air. Farther down the river, the country is more bucolic. This is where Eliza fled across the ice floes in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Farther west, between Louisville and Cincinnati, are counties that look like they’re still in the 19th century. But metropolitan growth obtrudes. Oldham County, just upriver from Louisville, has some of Kentucky’s oldest homes, and is by far the most affluent county in the state. The three Northern Kentucky counties across the river from Cincinnati—Campbell, Kenton and fast-growing Boone—are urban and suburban. Overlooking the suspension bridge built by John Roebling are new buildings on the Covington waterfront, and new subdivisions are rising on the hills in Boone County, above the river and near the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. In 2008, Fidelity Investments opened a campus in Covington with 4,600 employees. Newport, with its panoramic view of the Cincinnati skyline plus its entertainment and nightlife, has become a regional hot spot; local features include the aquarium and Labor Day fireworks on the river. It is also the hometown of one-time Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer, the noted cultural conservative.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 4th Congressional District of Kentucky is the most northernmost district in the state. It includes the counties along the Ohio and also lightly populated counties just inland. Economically, it runs the gamut from coal mining towns to rich suburbs. Politically, it has some of the most Democratic counties in America, like mountain-bound Elliott County, which voted 61%-36% for Barack Obama in 2008, his strongest county in Kentucky, and 70%-30% for John Kerry in 2004. It also has some of the most Republican territory in Kentucky, like Oldham County, which voted 65%-34% for John McCain in 2008 and 69%-30% for George W. Bush in 2004. The three northern Kentucky counties across the river from Cincinnati cast nearly half the district’s votes, and they too are heavily Republican.