ABC 36’s political analyst explains lessons learned from primary


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – ABC 36’s political analyst, Stephen Voss, Ph. D, breaks down what we learned and what he thinks about how Kentucky will move forward towards the General Election in November.

it obviously was a hectic primary, for voters and for county clerks.

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“I think what they pulled off is incredibly impressive, doesn’t mean it’s perfect, doesn’t mean we can’t improve in november, but impressive,” Voss, an associate professor of political science at UK said.

impressive, that so far there hasn’t been any signs of corruption with the new voting process. Voss is still critical though of limited in-person polling locations. 

Kentucky’s largest cities only had one location each.

“The fact that you have to take three steps, you register to vote, you call for absentee ballot, you submit the ballot, that favors voters of higher status,” Voss said.

Something Voss says helped Amy McGrath and hurt Charles Booker, who had a surge of voters likely going to vote in-person.

“Booker had an uphill battle,” Voss said.

Voss says looking ahead, a tight primary like this, doesn’t hurt the winning candidate. The one exception is money spent.

Amy McGrath’s spent half of her $41 million raised on the primary election.

“I don’t see that being a problem in this case, lots more outside money will pour in to give her the funds she needs to fight the rigorous battle against McConnell,” he said.

Booker’s surge actually helps McGrath for the General Election, Voss said.

“Booker’s campaign really did McGrath a favor now that she’s won. He identified a constituency, he articulated what they wanted to hear. She now knows how to go get those votes,” he said.

But will it be enough to beat out incumbent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“It’s McConnell’s race to lose, a state’s voters rarely give up leadership positions in congress,” Voss said.

Don’t forget we’re likely headed into troubling times for the economy because of the pandemic, so if we go into an economic depression voters could be angry and fired up to upset McConnell.

Making the next few months pivotal.

“If things kind of continue the way they’re going now, with people struggling, but getting by Mitch McConnell has got the definite advantage going in,” Voss said.



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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or