Are you ready for the 2020 Kentucky House races?
The six incumbent representatives are, all hoping to get back to Congress in January 2021. Just one member of Kentucky’s delegation, John Yarmuth, is a member of the House’s majority party. The remainder of Kentucky, as one might expect, is red.
Last time around, Kentucky had one competitive House race, but will it offer further opportunities to the Democrats in 2020? Another question that has been asked is if all sitting members will make it through their primaries. Find out all of this and more as we rate the Kentucky House races.
KY US House Rating Scale
Here’s our chart showing how we rate the 2020 Kentucky House races. We do not do tossups.
2020 Kentucky House Races Current Prediction Summary: May 2
Current Kentucky US House Map
Democrats barely cracked 30 percent here during a wave election, so it makes sense that incumbent James Comer is very safe for re-election.
This is another one where Republicans have soared over the years and Democrats have not laid a glove on the GOP in a long time. Under a previous configuration of the district, Democrats were a tiny bit competitive in the mid and late 2000s, but in this district, we do not envision great Democratic success.
The 3rd District of Kentucky was one of the hottest House races — in 2006. Since John Yarmuth took over for Anne Northup in this Louisville-based seat, Democrats have not had much to worry about here. It is the most Democratic-leaning seat in the commonwealth, in case you couldn’t tell that it is the only Democratic seat. Joe Biden will carry the 3rd more likely than not, but we expect him to run behind Yarmuth, who is in fine shape.
Thomas Massie, the incumbent, got himself into some controversy for blocking passage of the COVID-19 stimulus bill by voice vote.1 His own party is annoyed with him, but is he at risk of being taken out in the GOP primary? Well, it was a possibility until Todd McMurtry was accused of bigotry due to past posts on Twitter.2 It’s a simplistic way to look at it, but these may cancel themselves out to a degree as both GOP candidates are damaged goods, putting us back to the incumbent being favored. The Republican nominee will win the seat regardless.
Not only is Hal Rogers a political titan in this area, but this is in the 95th percentile of most Republican seats in the country. This seat has been in GOP hands for close to 60 years.
Here was Kentucky’s tight race from 2018, in which Amy McGrath (D) gave Andy Barr a close call in a loss. So competitive was it that we did a feature on this race back then. Now, McGrath is running for Senate against Mitch McConnell and at this point, the Democrats are not giving it the all-in effort they did two years ago. Donald Trump’s coattails in Kentucky make it less likely now that this is a flip opportunity.
Kentucky House Race References
1: Siobhan Hughes, “Kentucky House Race Heats Up After Massie’s Lonely Stand on Coronavirus Vote,” Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/campaign-wire-election-2020/card/9j8oVoxLqHbfrhjhcMJQ/)
2: Ron Kampeas & JTA, “After racist tweets, RJC withdraws support for Todd McMurtry,” The Jerusalem Post, April 21, 2020, https://www.jpost.com/american-politics/after-racist-tweets-rjc-withdraws-support-for-todd-mcmurtry-625301/)