Who will be the next governor of the Bluegrass State? The Kentucky governor election 2019 predictions and results will tell you who we think will win, and after November, who won.
Of course, Kentucky might not have a new governor this time next year. Incumbent Matt Bevin (R) is seeking a second term, and he would become the first Republican to be re-elected in the commonwealth’s history. Several Democrats may jump into the running to prevent this from happening.
Bevin’s term in office, following his surprisingly comfortable win in 2015 (after polls showed at best a tied race), has been a win for social and fiscal conservatives on an array of issues. Despite Kentucky’s red bent, however, not all of his agenda has been well-received. The governor entered 2019 with unimpressive approval ratings and seemed to have work to do in order to get re-elected. (Link: Roll Call)
Learn who’s in the running for Kentucky’s top job and who will be elected the Kentucky governor in 2019. These off-year elections are what keep us going.
Kentucky Governor Election 2019 Candidates
Declared candidates list for primary; winners highlighted
|Matt Bevin* (Governor of Kentucky)|
|Robert Goforth (State Representative, 89th District)|
|William Woods (Businessman)|
|Rocky Adkins (State Representative, House Minority Leader, 99th District)|
|Andy Beshear (Attorney General of Kentucky)|
|Adam Edelen (Former State Auditor)|
|Geoff Young (Former Public Official)|
Kentucky Governor Election 2019: Early Look
Kentucky Governor Election Day 2019
Primary: May 21, 2019
General Election: November 5, 2019
Kentucky Governor Election 2019 Results
Andy Beshear (D) was elected governor by a narrow margin on November 5, 2019. His win, by just over 5,000 votes in the preliminary count, may be challenged by Matt Bevin (R) in a recount.
Beshear ran up the score in Democratic counties like Fayette (Lexington) and Jefferson (Louisville). He also made inroads in coal country in eastern Kentucky as well as in northern Kentucky. Bevin was not able to offset Beshear’s gains with strong results in western Kentucky.
Jefferson County was of particular bad news for Bevin, as the incumbent governor lost there by almost 99,000 votes. Beshear almost doubled up Bevin in Fayette County.
Warren County (Bowling Green) was among the counties carried by Bevin in 2015 that Beshear won in 2019. The governor-elect overturned a 3,000-vote deficit there to win by about 1,100.
Kentucky Governor Election 2019 Analysis, January 19, 2019
Matt Bevin is going to have trouble with this one. Then again, nobody was quite sure he would win in 2015, especially after taking the Republican primary by less than 100 votes. He ended up winning the general election by about nine points. Bevin replaced Steve Beshear, a two-term Democratic governor. It could be that he is replaced by another Beshear: Steve’s son, Andy, the current attorney general. He is considered the Democratic frontrunner, and as noted in the cited December 2018 poll from Mason-Dixon, he starts the campaign with a lead. If Beshear gets out of the primary, it will be a race to watch.
Kentucky is a red state; of that there is no doubt. Yet, they are a red state that has historically elected Democratic governors and has two big, blue-leaning cities in Louisville and Lexington contributing Democratic votes. Bevin is not Mister Popular in this re-election year, but he has the saving grace of being a Republican running in a red state. This is not to say that he is assured victory, but he can lose if the right combination of circumstances come together. One circumstance seems like it already has: lousy poll numbers. Others may include a strong campaign by the eventual Democratic candidate and a continued rise in Democratic fortunes nationally.
Democrats have had a few high-profile failures here in recent years, however: for example, Mitch McConnell easily beating Alison Lundergan Grimes in 2014 and Democrats failing to oust Andy Barr in the US House 6th District in 2018 despite running a solid candidate. And, obviously, Jack Conway losing to Bevin in 2015 when polls suggested he should not have. Will this be the next?