5 things to watch in every state: Kentucky

Despite Kentucky’s federal elections, this is a Democratic state at the state and local level.  The Democratic Party just lost a gubernatorial election in 2014 when Matt Bevin ran on shutting down Kynect and somehow stopping the Medicaid expansion.  The Democrats were able to hold onto the State House of Representatives which forced Rand Paul to fund a Presidential caucus instead of having their typical Presidential primary election.  It appears that Donald Trump is not going to be such a drag on Senate races to really kill Rand Paul’s chances of getting re-elected.  In a real wave election, Paul would be a vulnerable Senate incumbent.

  1. Kentucky State House of Representatives, District 13: Democratic James (Jim) Glenn was re-elected in 2012 in this district with 50.8% of the vote over Independent candidate Bill Barron who received 49.2% of the vote.  The vote difference was 251.  In 2014, while Democrats were trying hard to retain the House, Glenn defeated Republican challenger Alan Braden.  Braden lost the election by just over 500 votes to Glenn.  How did Glenn do better in 2014 when a Republican was elected to the Governor’s mansion?  It’s possible that voters in the district do really support Democratic candidates better based on tradition.  But I’m not sure.  Like I said before, the Kentucky Democratic Party really focused on retaining the House in 2014.  It may have worked. At least in this district.
  2. Kentucky State House of Representatives, District 25: Democrat Jimmie Lee ran unopposed in 2012 and was re-elected.  In 2014, while Democrats were trying to retain the House, Lee lost by 248 votes to Republican Jim DuPlessis. Unlike in a lot of other elections when a Democrat lost in 2014, Lee is not running for a rematch.  The Democratic nominee in 2016 is Michael Dile.  Dile is going to try to unseat DuPlessis and break into the 248 vote firewall.
  3. Kentucky State House of Representatives, District 49: Democrat incumbent Linda Belcher lost her election in 2012 52.8-47.2 and lost by 1,105 votes in total to Republican Russell Webber.  Webber did not run for re-election in 2014.  Belcher decided to try to retake her seat in 2014.  She was able to do so by defeating Michael Nemes in 2014 by 737 votes.  Belcher is running for re-election in 2016 against a new Republican challenger, Dan Johnson.  It should be a fairly close election if the last two elections are any guide.
  4. Kentucky State House of Representatives, District 74: Demcoratic incumbent Richard Henderson ran unopposed in 2012.  In 2014, he was challenged by Republican David Hale.  Hale was able to defeat Henderson by less than 900 votes.  Henderson is not running for a rematch.  The Democratic nominee for 2016 in this district is James Davis trying to unseat Hale.  I’m not sure how Democratic leaning the district could be since I don’t have the data from 2012.  But I think Davis could have a good shot in a Democratic Presidential year.
  5. Kentucky State House of Representatives, District 91: The Democratic incumbent Ted Edmonds lost re-election in 2012 by 134 votes to Republican challenger Gary Herald.  Hearld ran for re-election in 2014 against a new Democratic opponent, Cluster Howard.  Howard was able to win the election by 14 votes (13,860 total votes cast).  Howard is running for re-election and is running in a rematch against Herald.  We have two elections decided by a total of 148 votes.  So I’m really excited for this.