(LEX 18)– The governor’s race was not the only matchup settled on Tuesday night.
In November, the five down-ballot races will feature two open seats vacated by Democrats, and three Republican incumbents trying to fight off Democrat challengers.
LEX 18 Political Analyst Bob Babbage was keeping a close eye on results last night and says that two results that stood out to him were the wins by Heather French Henry and Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles.
In a crowded Democratic primary for Secretary of State, Henry captured the most votes for any candidate on the ballot and won by an overwhelming margin.
“Same for Ryan Quarles. Worked his way up, through the legislature, ag commissioner. Has a broad base. You can’t call a race the day after the primary, but those two have a roaring head start,” Babbage said.
Babbage also pointed out that the point totals and victory margins by Andy Beshear and Governor Matt Bevin were almost identical to the results in 2007, which resulted in a race between Republican incumbent Ernie Fletcher and Democrat Challenger Steve Beshear, Andy’s father.
Both races had similar victory margins and Steve Beshear defeated Fletcher in the fall.
“So you’d say history repeats itself. It’s almost identical. Except for the fact that over those 12 years, we have 22,000 new Democrats registered, and 380,000 new Republicans,” said Babbage.
He said that doesn’t necessarily mean Republicans have a decisive advantage in the Governor’s race and the down-ballot ones, but Kentucky is certainly turning red.
Babbage predicts that the campaigns will be issue-based, and the keys to competing are money, the ground game, TV presence, and social media.