The Kentucky Governor’s race will be decided on November 5th, and a new Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy survey (10/10-13; 625 KY registered voters) paints a different picture of the race as the campaigns begin to enter the stretch drive. The last poll released here was in late August, from Garin-Hart-Yang Research, and it gave Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear a 48-39% lead over Gov. Matt Bevin (R).
The Mason-Dixon results find a different trend. According to M-D, the race has now evolved into a flat tie with both candidates deadlocked at 46%. It is clear that Gov. Bevin has again made this race competitive, and we can now expect a dash to the political finish line.
Retired Marine Corps helicopter pilot Amy McGrath (D), who raised over $8.6 million for a congressional race in 2018, logged an enormous 3rd Quarter in fundraising for her new Senate race. Ms. McGrath, challenging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), attracted a whopping $10.7 million for her campaign just in the last twelve weeks. Mega millions will be spent in this race, but Sen. McConnell, first elected in 1984, will continue to be the favorite to win again regardless of the amounts raised and spent against him.
A new Garin Hart Yang Research Group internal survey for the Andy Beshear for Governor campaign shows incumbent Matt Bevin (R) falling behind Democratic Attorney General Beshear. According to the poll (8/19-22; 501 KY likely voters) Beshear has jumped out to 48-39% lead over Gov. Bevin for the November 2019 election.
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.
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