In an off year without any national races, the Kentucky governor’s race has emerged as a significant contest to watch across the country. To understand why the Commonwealth is now in the national spotlight, we turn to Asma Khalid, a political contributor for ABC News and NPR correspondent. Why are people across the country paying attention to our election here in Kentucky? One major reason is that they see it as a preview for the presidential election in 2024. Not many states are voting today, so this race is receiving more attention. Additionally, my colleagues at Kentucky public radio have noted that the outcome of the Kentucky governor’s race has been a reliable indicator of which party wins the presidential race the following year, based on the last six governor’s races.
It’s quite interesting, and national outlets have been stating that our governor’s race will provide insights into the 2024 presidential race. If our incumbent Democrat Andy Beshear wins, it could say something about President Biden. However, it’s important to recognize that governors often have a different impact on elections compared to senators and members of Congress. Kentucky has had Democratic governors while not consistently voting for Democrats at the presidential level.
Similar patterns can be seen in states like Massachusetts, which often elects Republican governors despite favoring Democratic presidential candidates. That being said, recent polls, including a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, have shown President Biden’s approval rating at a significant low point.
People are searching for any indicators that could suggest what might happen in the upcoming year. Some analysts have mentioned that the presidential candidates could influence the outcome of this race.
If Andy Beshear, our Democrat, loses, it could be attributed to President Biden’s popularity. It should be noted that Andy Beshear has established a distinct local brand and has received praise for his handling of natural disasters, such as floods and tornadoes. Despite attempts by his Republican competitor to tie him to Joe Biden, it is clear that Beshear is viewed positively for his executive management skills. If he were to lose this election, it would undoubtedly create a narrative suggesting Biden’s contribution to the outcome. Thank you, Asma, for sharing your insights.
We truly appreciate your time as we prepare for what may be a lengthy night ahead..