Trey Grayson on Kentucky's toss-up gubernatorial election

10/08/2015 05:04 PM

Not since 1995 has Kentucky political insider Trey Grayson seen a race so close in the final months, but that’s where the gubernatorial contest between Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway currently stands.

In past gubernatorial races this is the point where candidates have made space in the polls, if there hadn’t been space already, and that means every decision counts from here on out.

“Every decision from where do they go, what ads or messages or are they trying to put out there on television, on the internet, on the radio — and then also turnout operations all of these take on much heightened scrutiny given the closeness of the race, and the apparent jump-ball nature of the outcome,” Grayson said in an interview with Pure Politics.

Grayson is the president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, but he is also the former secretary of state serving from 2004 to 2011. Grayson also spent three years as director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

Again looking to historical interest, Grayson said the race between Conway and Bevin has garnered less interest than any gubernatorial election in Kentucky since 1999 — the year Gov. Paul Patton defeated Republican Peppy Martin and Gatewood Galbraith in a landslide.

“This feels more like that race, where there’s just not a lot of interest among people,” Grayson said. “My guess is at that the end of the day that the amount of money that gets spent will cause this turnout not to be quite as abysmal as you might think.”

Grayson said it’s hard to tell which candidate a low-turnout election would favor, but it could slice any number of ways given the type of candidates that are running this year (2:00).

Watch Grayson’s other takeaways on the governor’s race, plus his thoughts on the down ballot races to watch in the interview below.


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