LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – You’ve seen them take jabs at each other in television ads, but as the race between Attorney General Andy Beshear, former State Auditor Adam Edelen and House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins goes down to the wire, ABC 36’s political analyst, Stephen Voss, says don’t bet any money on this race.
“Polling data cannot be trusted. Any candidate could get a surprising surge, and get numbers way greater than the polls anticipated,” said Voss, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky.
The winner will likely face Governor Matt Bevin, a governor Attorney General Beshear has had a very public feud with, suing his administration eight times. Voss believes this could give him an edge.
“The lawsuits against Bevin have kept Beshear’s name in the news. It’s helped him build up the name recognition for himself that he needs to run this democratic primary. Name recognition will pay off for him in all the regions of the state,” said Voss.
Adam Edelen has made several attacks on Beshear. He’s riding some momentum after a Courier Journal endorsement. Voss says with a progressive campaign vision, it could hurt his electability in a general election, but a low projected voter turnout could help.
“If there’s any election where a progressive Adam Edelen campaign can beat a Republican, it will be an election where most of the more lukewarm voters stay home,” said Voss.
Rocky Adkins has a more moderate approach. According to Voss, that will make getting out of the primary a struggle, but he believes Adkins stance on issues like abortion could benefit him in rural areas across the state in a general election.
“Offer them a Democrat, who on the social and cultural issues is not as liberal as the national democratic party, and they can start considering a Democrat,” said Voss.