2020 election

Three days before the Nevada caucuses, six Democratic candidates will face off in a debate Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

The televised debate comes on the heels of a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll that shows Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading nationally, with 31% support among Democratic-leaning voters.

Trailing Sanders in second in the survey is billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, with 19% backing.

Jacob Ryan

A top Kentucky election official says foreign hackers scan the state’s election systems looking for vulnerabilities “on a regular basis” and that lawmakers need to create a more stable funding source for election security.

Jared Dearing, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said election officials don’t know if the hacking attempts are coming from foreign governments, but that they “don’t have good intentions.”

“We are routinely scanned by Venezuela, by North Korea, by Russia on a regular basis,” Dearing said.

 


WKU Public Radio

Despite worries from election security experts, Kentucky will be one of only a few states in 2020 that’s still using some voting machines that don’t produce a paper trail — an industry standard to verify election results.

The reason is one that Kentuckians have heard often: there isn’t enough money, especially in a state that places much of the burden of election administration on local governments.

And despite recent transfusions of cash from the federal government for states to improve election security, the amount allocated to Kentucky in the most recent disbursement only represents about 10 percent of the overall need.

 


Updated at 7:08 a.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened up a double-digit lead in the Democratic nominating contest, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Sanders has 31% support nationally, up 9 points since December, the last time the poll asked about Democratic voters' preferences.

Rhonda J. Miller

Mike Broihier is one of 10 Democratic candidates competing in the May 19 Kentucky primary to be the nominee for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senate Majority Leader Mitch Connell, who has seven Republican challengers in the primary.

Broihier is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer who lives on a 75-acre farm in Lincoln County in central Kentucky with his wife, also a retired Marine Corps officer. 

Broihier stopped by the WKU Public Radio studio in Bowling Green to talk with  reporter Rhonda Miller.


Chas Sisk | WPLN

Early voting for the presidential primary starts Wednesday in Tennessee.

Republican and Democratic voters will see multiple options on their ballots, but not all of them are still in the race.

GOP voters will have the opportunity to choose from President Donald Trump, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh. That last candidate dropped out of the race recently.

Republicans will also have the opportunity to vote for delegates for the national convention.

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET

The finish at the top in New Hampshire looked a lot like the finish last week in Iowa, this time with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading the way and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg finishing a close second.

But from the No. 3 spot on down there were some pretty big surprises, including the rise of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and disappointing finishes for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Here are six takeaways from what happened last night:

Rhonda J. Miller

A retired Marine Corps officer and farmer running to win Kentucky’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary brought his campaign to Bowling Green on Monday.

Mike Broihier came by the WKU Public Radio studios before his stops at the Warren County Democratic Woman’s Club, Little Fox Bakery, and other campaign events.

Broihier is traveling across Kentucky in a face-to-face campaign to gain name recognition and support for his progressive agenda in a crowded field of 10 Democrats competing in the May primary. 

The winner will advance to the November general election, likely against Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, who has seven primary challengers. 


Updated at 9:40 a.m. ET Tuesday

The Iowa caucuses aren't over yet. A delay in the results meant the state Democratic Party did not call the race Monday night as expected, leaving the candidates and their supporters in limbo.

Updated at 10:56 p.m. ET

Senators weighing impeachment charges against President Trump spent Thursday firing questions at lawyers as they did the day before, just as the prospect of former national security adviser John Bolton's appearance as a witness continues to stoke speculation. The Senate will enter its next phase Friday — considering whether to allow witnesses and evidence.

There are now no more official debates before Democrats begin voting.

Tuesday night's debate was the last before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, and it featured six of the 12 remaining candidates — the top four of whom polls show to be neck and neck.

Democratic primary voters got a substantive debate in which the candidates clashed over what it means to be commander in chief, gender politics and, of course, health care.

Here are four takeaways from Tuesday night's debate:

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET

We're up to the seventh debate, and down to six candidates.

The leading Democratic presidential candidates return to the debate stage Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET — this time in Iowa, which hosts the first-in-the-nation caucuses in less than three weeks.

Rhonda J. Miller

The retired Marine fighter pilot running to win Kentucky’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary brought her campaign to Bowling Green on Monday.

Amy McGrath is hoping to be the Democrat who takes on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November. McGrath spoke at the Warren County Democratic Woman’s Club. 

McGrath was raised in northern Kentucky and had a 20-year career in the military.  She and her husband, a retired Navy pilot, moved back to Kentucky where they’re raising their three children.

McGrath said her campaign is focusing on the daily concerns of Kentuckians. 


Rebecca Kiger

Researchers at Harvard University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that rural Americans identified drug addiction and economic concerns as the most serious problems facing their communities.

The An open-ended survey of 2700 rural adults aimed to identify the major concerns of rural voters, and found that 25 percent of rural Americans said drug addiction was their biggest concern for their community, and 21 percent said the same about economic concerns. The striking illustrate the dramatic toll of addiction on rural communities, which have generally struggled to recover from the 2009 recession.


Lisa Autry

Louisville Democratic state Rep. Charles Booker has filed his paperwork to run for the seat currently held by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

As an outspoken advocate for the Green New Deal, Medicare For All and impeaching President Donald Trump, Booker is running as a progressive alternative to Amy McGrath, the well-funded retired Marine fighter pilot already running as a Democrat in the race.

Booker said he wants to build a movement and get people involved who don’t normally participate in the political process.

“This is bigger than getting rid of Mitch McConnell, that we can inspire something different. And folks that haven’t vote[d] in a long time or maybe never voted will take a chance,” Booker said.

 


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