2020 election

Ryland Barton

Democratic candidate Amy McGrath is making her final push to try to overcome Republican Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race.

McGrath held a get out the vote rally outside a Teamsters hall in Louisville on Thursday, shortly before she hopped on a plane to campaign in Pikeville.

McGrath told a crowd of about 30 people that workers have been treated terribly by McConnell.

“He has undermined unions, undermined workers. Tried to drive down wages for decades. He represents the big corporations, special interests, the wealthiest one percent. He only cares about them and making more money for them,” McGrath said.

Ryland Barton

Sen. Mitch McConnell turned up the political rhetoric at a campaign stop in Oldham County on Wednesday, telling supporters that the country is in danger of being taken over by “radical liberals.”

About 50 people gathered in a barn for the event in Smithfield, less than a week before Election Day and two days after the Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

McConnell attacked his Democratic opponent, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, claiming she is too liberal for Kentucky voters.

Ryland Barton

While Mitch McConnell oversaw the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, candidates trying to unseat him in the Senate participated in a televised debate on KET.

Democratic candidate Amy McGrath and Libertarian Brad Barron criticized McConnell for rushing the confirmation through eight days before the General Election and not participating in the debate.

McGrath said that McConnell should be focused on passing another coronavirus relief bill instead of confirming Coney Barrett.

LRC Public Information

Voters in Daviess County are deciding several races for the Kentucky legislature.  Perhaps the most high profile contest on the ballot is a rematch between State Representative Jim Glenn and DJ Johnson for the 13th District House seat.  Their last contest was a nail-biter.

Glenn, a Democrat, held the office for ten years before he was defeated by Johnson, a Republican, in 2016.  Two years later, Glenn won the seat back by one vote. 

Johnson requested a recount, which resulted in a tie.  But a lawyer for Glenn filed a complaint with the office of the Kentucky Attorney General, claiming an attorney for Johnson illegally influenced the recount process. Johnson’s lawyer denied the charge, but Johnson later announced he was dropping his challenge in order to end the controversy.

Nov. 3 promises to be an Election Day unlike any other, and public safety entities say they're preparing for tensions and the possibility of violence.

Poll workers are usually the first line of defense in case of disputes between voters, though they may be backed up by private security guards. Some local election authorities say they'll be adding guards, and Washington state's King County says it will post guards to ballot drop boxes that in other years have been unattended.

J. Tyler Franklin

About 20 people gathered in the courtyard of the Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton for a Mitch McConnell event last week. It was raining and attendees tried their best to social distance beneath tents as McConnell talked to them about the CARES Act.

He pulled out a piece of paper and began to read what the medical center got out of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill that passed back in March.

“You got $8.8 million totally—$3.9 million came directly out of the direct hospital relief fund, but you also very skillfully and smartly accessed $1.3 million of PPP loans,” McConnell said.

 

J. Tyler Franklin

Mitch McConnell holds a nine-point lead over Democratic challenger Amy McGrath in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, according to a new poll.

McConnell has consistently polled ahead of McGrath throughout the race, though McGrath has significantly outraised and outspent the six-term incumbent.

According to the survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, McConnell is backed by 51% of likely voters in Kentucky, McGrath has 42% while libertarian candidate Brad Barron has 4% and 3% are undecided.

The poll was conducted from Oct. 12 through Oct. 15 and included 625 registered Kentucky voters who were interviewed over the telephone. The margin of error was +/- 4 percentage points.

Democrats all across the country are anxious.

The fact that former Vice President Joe Biden consistently leads President Trump by double digits in national polls lately doesn't help. Neither does Biden's unprecedented advertising advantage over the incumbent.

With less than two weeks until voting concludes, President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will face off for the final time in a debate on Thursday, likely marking Trump's last chance to reach a massive audience as he trails Biden in polls nationally and in key states.

Ryan Van Velzer

Kentucky election officials are predicting that 70% of registered voters will cast ballots in this year’s General Election — an uptick from the 2016 election, which had 59% turnout.

The presidential election and Mitch McConnell’s race for a seventh term in office have energized voters, who have more options and a longer window to cast ballots this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Secretary of State Michael Adams says between 50,000 and 60,000 people cast ballots every day during the first week of early voting, which began last Tuesday.

Kara Lofton, WVPB

President Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in Kentucky’s presidential race this year, but it’s not as large as his margin of victory in 2016, according to a new poll.

Trump leads former Vice President Joe Biden 56% to 39% in Kentucky according to Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, which accurately predicted Kentucky’s close race for governor last year.

But the 17 percentage point difference is far smaller than Trump’s margin of victory in Kentucky in 2016, when he carried the state by 30 percentage points over Hillary Clinton.

The pandemic has changed a lot about how we vote this year, including when we may find out who won.

It's possible — because some rules have changed, and some haven't — that Nov. 3 could come and go without a clear answer as to who the next president will be.

Lisa Autry

Bowling Green voters will soon have a new mayor for the first time in nearly a decade. 

On September 1, the local mayor’s race got more interesting.  Incumbent Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson announced he was withdrawing from the contest due to medical reasons.  That’s also when he endorsed retired Air Force Lt. Col. Todd Alcott, who is the only candidate on the ballot.  Businessmen Tom Morris and Chris Page are running as write-in candidates. 

Morris and Page are making their first bids for public office. Alcott entered politics two years ago when he ran for State Rep. Jody Richards’ seat in the legislature. Alcott lost the Republican primary in that race.

"No one wants to lose a campaign, but when you lose, you persevere and you grow from it," Alcott told WKU Public Radio.

Early voting turnout continues to shatter records, as sky-high voter enthusiasm meets the realities of the United States' creaky machinery of democracy amid a pandemic. That means long lines in some places and administrative errors with some mail ballots, but a system that is working overall, according to experts.

"Despite some of those concerns, things are going at this point reasonably well," said former Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman, speaking specifically about the expansion of voting by mail.

Facebook/Russellville Parks and Rec Dept.

As the general election nears, many Kentuckians are choosing to cast their ballots by early in-person voting that began Oct. 13, and runs through Nov. 2. 

There’s one location for early voting in Logan County, the Old National Guard Armory in Russellville that’s now a recreation center owned by the city.

Logan County Clerk Scottie Harper said he has plenty of poll workers who are  keeping things running smoothly.

“I have two clerks signing people in. We have two ballot judges," said Harper. "We have floaters, which are cleaning spaces. We have a machine judge. And then I’ve got 25 privacy booths, which means I can vote 25 people simultaneously.”


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