Trump and DeSantis Battle it Out in the Kentucky Governor GOP Primary
Kentucky Democratic Governor Andy Beshear ranks as the most popular Democratic Governor in the country. That popularity alone may not be enough to ensure his reelection, as Beshear will have to substantially outperform partisan benchmarks in November in this Trump+26 state.
For most of the winter, Attorney General Daniel Cameron has been heavily favored in the Republican Primary. Cameron won the coveted endorsement of former President Donald Trump and dominated polling in January. Former US Ambassador to the United Nations and Republican megadonor Kelly Craft has self-funded the strongest challenge to Cameron. Craft was trailing by a ~40-10% margin in January, but two more recent Emerson polls have shown a more competitive race. Craft and Cameron share similar policy views and rhetoric, but the two have run a heavily contested and negative campaign for the past few months. Craft has substantially outraised and outspent her opponents, dominating Kentucky’s airwaves throughout this spring. She added an important new supporter to her campaign on Monday night, as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stepped in and opposed Trump by fully endorsing Craft. A third challenger, Ryan Quarles, has amassed substantial local support and has been specifically targeting the rural portions of the state. Quarles currently serves as Kentucky’s Agricultural Commissioner and has earned endorsements from 25 members of the state legislature. Cameron is still favored to win his party’s primary, but the race will be much more tightly contested than many previously thought.
Any of the three primary competitors will be locked in a competitive race with Beshear for the next six months if they manage to come out on top tonight. Craft is likely the strongest general election candidate, albeit not for any reason other than her deep war chest of personal wealth. Polls close at 6 pm local time, meaning that the Eastern portion of Kentucky will close before the Western portion, and results will come in asymmetrically. The policy of Decision Desk HQ and all other election reporting agencies is not to make any race calls for statewide offices until all polls in the state are closed. Follow live results Tuesday night at decisiondeskhq.com.
A Progressive Vies With Establishment Candidates in Philadelphia’s Democratic Mayor Primary
Five different Democratic hopefuls are in serious contention to win tonight’s Democratic Primary for Philadelphia’s November mayoral election. While many of the candidates are running on similar platforms, progressive former Councilwoman Helen Gym has drawn strong distinctions between herself and the rest of the field and narrowly led recent polling. Gym has earned support from national progressives such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and looks to build off of progressive Brandon Johnson’s victory in Chicago’s April Mayoral Election. Although the general election is not until November, the victor of tonight’s Democratic Primary will be all but certain to win the general election in this deep blue city.
A Traditional Democrat vs. Republican Election for Jacksonville Mayor
While Jacksonville is currently the largest city in the United States with a Republican mayor, this could change tonight. Democrat Donna Deegan and Republican Daniel Davis have been locked in a tight battle throughout the spring, with Deegan ahead by just 2 points in a poll recently released by St. Pete Polls. Deegan has focused on failing infrastructure throughout her campaign, while Davis has argued that he is the better option and can deal with the city’s rising crime rates. Given that President Joe Biden carried Jacksonville by ~5% in 2020, a Davis win would be a strong result for Republicans.
Control of the Entire Chamber is at Stake in PA State House Specials
With two vacancies set to be filled tonight in Pennsylvania, Republicans need to sweep the races in order to flip control of the State House. Republicans are heavily favored to win in HD-108, a Trump+32 district in rural central Pennsylvania. The special in Delaware County-based HD-163 is more of a longshot, given that Biden won the seat by 26 points in 2020. Although a Republican win would be an unconscionable upset, there are some reasons to think the election will be closer than Biden’s 26 points margin. Republicans have some demographic advantages, given the seat is ancestrally Republican (Clinton only carried the seat by 15% in 2016), and Democrats depend on Black turnout (27% Black VAP). Given that the previous Democratic representative resigned after being accused of sexual harassment, maybe it is not such a surprise that Biden chose to get involved in the race and endorsed the Democratic candidate on Monday.