2023 KY Governor's Race, August Election Poll

By Steve Knipper Guest Columnist

Photos provided by Steve Knipper and Zoeticode

August polls! (Don’t shoot the messenger, I only report). This month was delayed because we asked questions regarding statewide office holders, former Governor Bevin rumored to jump into the race.


Andy Beshear-(27.51%). His handling of the Eastern Ky floods are way below average and the recent special session called is proof he knows his numbers are tanking.


Side note: Senator Robert Stivers, Damon Thayer, Julie Adams and House Speaker David Osbourne all saw plunging poll numbers but for different reasons.


Most Republicans feel being the majority party doesn’t matter. They feel the Republican party of Kentucky is simple an arm of Mitch McConnell. The majority of Kentucky Republicans identify with Donald Trump overwhelmingly to McConnell. McConnell, now censured in a number of counties, continues to plague many candidates from Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State to even Allison Ball for Auditor.


Kelly Craft-(4.6%) Despite the build up and vast wealth and affiliation with Trump. Craft does not move the needle. Another McConnell casualty as many look at Craft as a Bevin/McConnell pick who donated her way into politics with no knowledge of state politics.


Daniel Cameron-(14.1%) A huge fall from last month for Cameron who also suffered from poor marks as the Attorney General. Cameron is well liked by Kentuckians personally. And until this month voters were willing to give him a chance to be Governor but not now. Many cite again, McConnell protege, but also, ‘a promise breaker’ who never went toe to toe with Beshear, ‘never was proactive in any conservative efforts’ and plagued by having former Bevin attorney’s who wrote controversial pardons as his key watchdogs. (Example: McConnell asking Biden Admin to appoint Chad Meredith to judge and then the entire process falling apart as quickly as started).


Mike Harmon-(13.41%) Harmon saw a decrease in support but is the only one who’s decrease was not due to McConnell. Harmon is well liked and trusted but can’t seem to get a foothold on an issue that voters relate to him as a champion. Harmon has the lowest negatives of any candidate running for Governor.


Ryan Quarles-(14.77%). Quarles has seen a steady decrease in numbers despite a self-proclaimed endorsement of over 100 elected officials from every county. Quarles is touting the same endorsement strategy as former Ag Comm Comer did in his defeat by 83 votes to Bevin in 2015.

Quarles is also solidly linked with Run-switch (A McConnell led media group) that has NOT done him any favors to change the perception of a “career McConnell politician looking fir his next pension add on for retirement.”

Quarles also suffers from a disadvantage that may not be fair but is a huge factor to Kentuckians. Quarles is single. Voters find it hard that a 30+ single man can begin to identify with the needs of KY families. Its not that he has low marks in legislative or Ag. Comm policy, its much more difficult than that because the data shows a lack of life experience and no number of endorsements are going to change that.


Eric Deters (3.7%) Strictly from a mathematic viewpoint he has peaked and will continual bob up and down from this point with no significant gain.


Savannah Maddox (9.84%) Maddox has an increase as she has been traveling the state. The rate of increase is larger than Deters but still points to a highly regional candidate that has run out of runway. Most support increase came from woman but Maddox had a sharp decline in male voters who feel Maddox is campaigning on gender vs. gender issues and comments follow the narrative ‘liberty is not a woman vs old boy network, its against tyranny in all its forms”. Maddox is a candidate willing to work but even with a Massie endorsement she is struggling in the statewide environment.


‘Unknown’ (Largest increase than any other candidate). The unknown started at 24.8% in June to a whopping 39.58% now. The increase shows that not any one candidate is breaking away from the pack and in fact unknown candidate(s) are gaining ground.


Comments range from “I hope there are more choices come December and January” to “The Governors race has turned into a two year process that brings fatigue before we even vote on questionable voting machines!”


And the bad thing for former Governor Bevin and Kelly Craft is NO ONE sees either of them as the answer. Bevin scored an embarrassing 12.4% approval with the biggest issue being lack of trust. Rumors around McConnell affiliation in the selection of Alvarado over Hampton to his last minute pardons and a nagging issue called Braidy Industries.