Note: This post was written as part of DDHQ’s effort to expand election coverage through the use of AI combined with our proprietary election data. This process is separate from our results and race calls which are still run exclusively by our class leading human team.
The 2023 Kentucky gubernatorial election is slated for November 7, 2023. This hotly contested race will decide who leads as governor in the state where the political landscape is significantly populated with Republicans. Currently, Kentucky’s State Senate has 30 Republicans, 7 Democrats, and 1 vacancy. The Kentucky House displays a similar imbalance, boasting 80 Republicans and only 20 Democrats. At the national level, Kentucky’s congressional delegation tilts right with 2 Republican Senators, 5 Republican representatives, and 1 Democratic representatives.
However, the 2023 gubernatorial election may not be predictably Republican. Past elections suggest that despite a Republican majority, Kentucky is no stranger to Democratic leadership. In fact, the state voted for a Democratic governor in the last election. In 2019, Democratic candidate Andy Beshear won the gubernatorial seat, unseating Republican governor Matt Bevin, albeit by a tight margin of 0.4%. Further reflecting this unpredictable incline to the left of the aisle, the past five gubernatorial elections in Kentucky have resulted in 3 Democratic wins and 2 Republican, with the last Republican win dating back to 2015.
Even as the 2020 presidential election saw Republican candidate Donald Trump triumph in Kentucky by a large margin of 25.9%, this political stronghold is not immune to flipping. The state’s recent gubernatorial history paints a picture of a democratic underdog that’s capable of toppling the republican majority. Mark your calendar for November 7, 2023, to see if Kentucky continues this trend or returns to its Republican roots.