On Tuesday night, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear won another term as Kentucky’s governor. He defeated Republican Daniel Cameron, who currently serves as the commonwealth’s attorney general.
The race was called at 7:45pm, less than an hour after the polls had closed in one part of Kentucky, and less than two hours after they had closed in another part.
DDHQ Race Call Notes: ✅
At the time of calling this race….
– Beshear performed strongly across the fifteen completed counties thus far.
– Specifically, he performed better than he did in 2019 in Breathitt and Lee coal counties, even as these had trended towards Trump on a…
— Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) November 8, 2023
With 49 percent of the vote in, which was around how much was in when the race was called, Beshear leads with 53.03 percent of the vote to Cameron’s 46.97 percent of the vote.
Polling was difficult to come by, and Beshear consistently led Cameron with the polls that were available. It did look possibe for Cameron to pull off a win with the results of last Friday’s poll from Emerson College, which showed the two tied at 47 percent a piece.
Not only did Beshear have the incumbency advantage, he also was regarded as one of the most popular governors in the country, according to Morning Consult. Beshear was also able to distance himself enough evidently from President Joe Biden, who is particularly unpopular in Kentucky, with just a 22 percent approval rating according to an October poll from Emerson College.
Cameron had been endorsed by former and potentially future President Donald Trump, who won Kentucky in 2016 and 2020 by over 62 percent of the vote. He’s also leading Biden in a hypothetical matchup for 2024, 55 percent to 26 percent, according to that same Emerson College poll from last month.
Big question is whether we see a similar dynamic in #MSGOV. Much tougher lift for Dems given higher racial polarization, would need combination of strong Black turnout and weak GOP turnout.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 8, 2023
The Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman posted that he believes a voter turnout/enthusiasm problem was at hand.
Beshear was first elected in 2019, when he unseated then Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican. The Beshears are something of a dynasty, as the current governor’s father, Steve Beshear, has served as the Democratic governor from 2007-2015.