Sabato's Crystal Ball moves governor's race to "leans Democratic"

10/29/2015 10:47 AM

With just days until Kentuckians head to the polls, the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ “Sabato’s Crystal Ball” has moved Kentucky’s gubernatorial election from “toss-up to leans Democratic.”

Citing polling, candidate performance and the temperament of Republican nominee Matt Bevin, Sabato’s Crystal Ball managing editor Kyle Kondik, says the race favors Democratic candidate Jack Conway.

“If Bevin loses, he, and the Republican Party both in Kentucky and nationally, will have squandered a golden opportunity,” Kondik said.

Even though the race leans in Conway’s favor, Kondik writes that President Obama’s unpopularity in the commonwealth is a detriment, and the inclusion of Independent candidate Drew Curtis in association with undecided voters potentially breaking towards Bevin, “could help Bevin sneak through.” Of course, Bevin would need to capture momentum in the waning days of the campaign.

“Even though Conway leads, he’s not at or really even near 50% in polls,” Kondik says in the report.

The latest Bluegrass Poll, conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of the Lexington Herald-Leader, WKYT-TV, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and WHAS-TV, shows Conway leading Bevin 45 percent to 40 percent. Independent candidate Drew Curtis has dropped in polling with 6 percent of the vote, and 10 percent of the survey’s respondents were undecided.

Bevin, Kondik says, has “not done a good job of uniting his party after winning the GOP primary by 83 votes, and he has engaged in unnecessary confrontations and petty, wasteful food fights with his rivals and the state’s media.”

“He is one of the most argumentative candidates we can remember,” Kondik said.


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