LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In a deeply Republican state, with an incumbent Republican Governor, this race should not be this close.
But the Commonwealth’s 2019 gubernatorial election appears to be heading down to the wire with no clear front-runner.
Governor Matt Bevin anticipates a ‘Trump bump’ after the President rallies for him in Lexington Monday night.
And supporters of Democrat Andy Beshear include teachers who appear highly motivated to turn out in this election.
“The Governor’s office does have a significant impact on the daily lives of Kentuckians that’s separate from what’s happening nationally,” democratic State Senator Morgan McGarvey said, “So I think voters will be thinking about those local issues and thinking about themselves.”
“If it has an effect on the lives of Kentuckians, then Matt Bevin ought to win in a landslide,” former Jefferson County GOP Chairman Bill Stone said. “Because Kentuckians, you and I, fellow citizens are doing better than they ever have and certainly in the lifetime of this generation.”
There are major hot button issues in play: education, pensions, jobs and health care.
But in this emotional campaign cycle, gauging voter priorities is difficult.
“I think a lot of the opposition to the Governor who should be winning in a walk is negative and is motivated by negativity, I truly believe that,” Stone said.
“In a state that has gone and trended Republican in the last several years,” McGarvey said, “The fact that an incumbent Republican governor is in trouble, bringing in the president the night before an election, I think should be ringing alarms.”
Adding to the uncertainty, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes predicts just 31 percent of registered voters will go to the polls.