Booker-McGrath race tightens heading into Tuesday primary


LEXINGTON, KY (WTVQ)- If there was ever a sign the Charles Booker-Amy McGrath race was close, it would be this: The number of high profile Democrats voicing their support for Booker and McGrath’s sudden change in political ads, going from a moderate-bipartisan candidate to a more progressive one.

Despite Booker’s surge the past few weeks, ABC 36 political analyst Stephen Voss said this could still be McGrath’s race.

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“Booker clearly has ignited a fire. He’s got lots of the politically hardcore active people excited about his candidacy, but we have very little information about how much of that is filtered to the rank of file voters, who are going to be making the real numbers on election day,” said Voss.

Voss said the lack of door-to-door polling during this election makes it hard to get an accurate read on the race. Voss said McGrath could still lead and win because there may be voters who preferred Booker, but picked McGrath when it was assumed she’d win. He said the other factor potentially in her favor is the limited polling sites causing a huge inconvenience for urban and minority voters.

“Traveling a mile in Louisville takes a lot long than traveling a mile on some rural road where there are five cars, so as you add a half-mile, a mile, two miles, three miles to the distance people have to travel to drop off their ballot box in a city you are dis-empowering them,” said Voss.

While Voss said Kentucky has made it as convenient as possible for voters to cast their ballot early, he thinks the history from other states show these elections may not lead to higher voter turnout with urban and minority voters.

“There is a scientific record from other states. What we see is that most of those convenience voting reforms that Kentucky’s trying actually empower people of higher socioeconomic status,” said Voss.

Because there’s not enough date, Voss isn’t confident in picking a winner in this race. Whoever does win, will have an uphill battle to beat Mitch McConnell. Voss believes the November race will be determined by the statues of the U.S. economy.

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Austin Miller joins ABC 36 Sports Team as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Anchor. Austin is from the Louisville area and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2008. Austin graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a second concentration in German. While at IU, Austin was a blogger at and co-host, producer and engineer for WIUX, the school’s student radio station. Before coming to ABC 36, Austin was a news videographer at WLFI in West Lafayette from 2012-2015. While working with WLFI, Austin had the chance to cover the Purdue Boilermakers. He then accepted a Sports/New Reporter position at Local 4 KSNB-TV in Hastings Nebraska and was eventually promoted to sports full-time as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. While at KSNB-TV, Austin covered the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Hastings College. After spending nearly six years away from home, Austin is excited to return to the Bluegrass State to cover the teams he grew up watching. In his spare time, Austin enjoys playing basketball, working out and cooking. If you have any story ideas or would like to say “Hello,” you can reach Austin by email at or direct message him on Twitter @AustinMillerTV.