In 2018, retired Marine Corps fighter pilot Amy McGrath (D) raised and spent over $8 million to challenge GOP Rep. Andy Barr (R-Lexington), and came within three percentage points of beating him. Now in the Senate race against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), the Democrats were actively attempting to recruit a new challenger for Mr. Barr.
Yesterday, it was announced that another Marine Corps veteran, Josh Hicks (D), has stepped forward to run for Congress. It remains to be seen if he can raise as much in the way of resources as Ms. McGrath did but, considering Rep. Barr’s strong performance in 2018, it will be much more difficult to dislodge him in 2020 and especially so with President Trump running strongly in the state.
Retired Marine Corps fighter pilot Amy McGrath (D), who raised and spent over $8 million in a losing 48-51% effort against 6th District US Rep. Andy Barr (R-Lexington) last November, announced yesterday that she will now challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Ms. McGrath ran as a strong liberal in the congressional race and proved she was an able fundraiser. But, the whole of Kentucky is more conservative than the 6th District meaning she will likely have a more difficult time in this election especially with President Trump setting the tone at the top of the state ballot. Still, this will become a competitive race, but the veteran Senator must again be favored for re-election.
A new Gravis Marketing survey finds a major change developing in the Kentucky Governor’s race. First-term incumbent Republican Matt Bevin has been lagging in polling throughout the primary season, brandishing some of the worst job approval numbers of any Governor in the country.
Yesterday, however, Gravis Marketing (6/11-12; 741 KY registered voters) released Kentucky political data that suggests Mr. Bevin has already rebounded from his slow start. The Gravis results find Mr. Bevin holding a 48-42% lead over state Attorney General Andy Beshear, the candidate who prevailed for the Democratic nomination in a close race back on May 21st. Clearly, these are Gov. Bevin’s best numbers of the campaign cycle and suggests he may have turned the corner in his re-election campaign effort. The general election is scheduled for November 5th, so much time remains for both candidates to improve their standing.
Toward the end of last week, sports radio program host Matt Jones confirmed that he is considering becoming a candidate against Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and said he will make a final decision upon returning from a June vacation.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee leadership has been trying to convince 2018 congressional candidate and former Marine Corps combat helicopter pilot Amy McGrath to enter the race. She, too, has not yet committed to running. For his part, Mr. Jones says whether or not Ms. McGrath decides to run will not influence his own decision. In either case, Sen. McConnell will be rated as a clear favorite for re-election.
Attorney General Andy Beshear won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination last night on the strength of his performance in the Louisville area and western Kentucky, which off-set his being blown out in the eastern part of the state. Mr. Beshear defeated state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook), and former state Auditor Adam Edelen, 38-32-28%.
Gov. Matt Bevin (R), who has been suffering from poor job approval ratings, won re-nomination with just over 52% of the vote, a very weak performance within his own party base. Like AG Beshear, Gov. Bevin was anemic in the eastern part of the state. Therefore, the region east of Frankfort and Lexington should be an interesting one since neither general election nominee performed well there.
Former state Rep. C. Wesley Morgan, who won a central Kentucky state House seat in 2016 but then lost re-nomination in 2018, announced his Republican primary challenge to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. After his defeat, Mr. Morgan said he was leaving the Republican Party and endorsed the Democratic nominee for the general election, a candidate who lost by just 23 votes. Now, it appears, Mr. Morgan is returning to the GOP to launch a political suicide effort against Sen. McConnell who was first elected in 1984 and has risen to the Senate’s top position.
No major Democrat has yet filed to oppose the Majority Leader, but we can expect to see some action after the Kentucky Governor’s race comes to a close in November.
Late last week we covered an Anzalone Liszt Grove poll (released 4/18; 500 KY likely Democratic primary voters) from former state Auditor Adam Edelen that gave Attorney General Andy Beshear a comfortable 43-23-22% lead over he and state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook).
Now, Mr. Beshear counters, releasing his own Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group survey (4/15-18; 601 KY likely Democratic gubernatorial primary voters) that finds him holding a similar, but stronger, 44-17-16% margin despite what the Beshear campaign claims is an Edelen 5:1 media expenditure advantage when including independent group spending. The Kentucky primary is May 21st. The winner then takes on Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in what will be a competitive 2019 general election.
The May 21st Democratic gubernatorial primary is fast approaching, and former state Auditor Adam Edelen just released his campaign’s Anzalone Liszt Grove Research survey (released 4/18; 500 KY likely Democratic primary voters). It’s rather surprising that a candidate would release a poll showing him badly trailing the leader and only barely ahead of the third place contender, but that’s what Mr. Edelen has done. The move is designed to show momentum, but it is actually state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Rock) who has gained the most since the last public poll was released in mid-February.
According to the ALG poll, Attorney General Andy Beshear, son of former Governor Steve Beshear, leads the field with 43% of the vote. Mr. Edelen is second with 23%, and Mr. Adkins follows closely with 22%. It is clear that AG Beshear is the man to beat and even his opponent’s data suggests that his primary lead may be too much for any of his challengers to overcome. The winner will do battle with Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in what will be a competitive 2019 general election.
The Garin Hart Yang Research firm recently tested Attorney General Andy Beshear in his battle for the Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial nomination. The survey (2/4-7; 603 KY likely Democratic primary voters) finds the one-term AG substantially leading his two Democratic Party rivals in anticipation of the state’s May 21st primary.
Against state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook) and former state Auditor Adam Edelen, Mr. Beshear takes a commanding 55-17-7% lead over his two opponents. Such is not particularly surprising because the Beshear name is well known to Kentucky Democratic primary voters. Mr. Beshear’s father, Steve Beshear, was the state’s Governor from 2007-2015.
Perhaps the bigger surprise is how badly Mr. Edelen fares. A former statewide official being doubled up by an eastern KY state Representative does not bode well for his emerging campaign.
Yesterday, we covered that Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has filed to run for re-election but chose a new running mate, state Sen. Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester). With the 2019 candidate filing deadline occurring today, US Rep. James Comer (R-Tompkinsville), who lost the 2015 statewide Republican gubernatorial primary to Mr. Bevin by just 83 votes and had been openly contemplating running for Governor again, confirmed that he would not oppose Gov. Bevin this year.
Therefore, the Kentucky gubernatorial field appears set. Gov. Bevin will face state Rep. Robert Goforth (R-East Bernstadt) in the Republican primary while Attorney General Andy Beshear, former state Auditor Adam Edelen, and state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook) are the significant candidates doing battle for the Democratic nomination. The Kentucky primary is set for May 21st. The state does not utilize a run-off system. This year’s general election is scheduled for November 5th.
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