By Steve Knipper Guest Columnist
October 28, 2022
Don’t shoot the messenger. I just report the results. Delayed polling since several new factors such as Kelly Craft making it official. We had to give the info time to marinade.
Here’s what the data tells us: First off, the visual tells one of the biggest problems. We have a slate of POLITICIANS seeking a new position. Kentuckians don’t necessarily think that is wrong, but voters are clearly looking for a Leader, someone who has a history of getting things done and going against the Frankfort swamp.
Only one McConnell candidate has increased in the poll and that is Kelly Craft. Besides an aggressive call campaign to all Judge Executives and County Attorney’s and a large campaign opener where Max Wise was announced as the first running mate of this campaign, this start is at best anemic.
Craft is seen as buying her way into office and that is so prevalent in most of the comments, I don’t see how she overcomes that even if she attempts to actually buy her way in. Voters want Leaders to face real problems with solutions. Her NKy fundraiser was less than 10 people.
The largest campaign rookie mistake was made by Ryan Quarles. Quarles trying an RPK classic grab to abandon conservatism and make a run for ”the middle” tweeted that he agreed Andy Beshear has made many decent choices as Governor? Voters, already hesitant on electing a non married Governor, turned from supporting Quarles because this is the very McConnell behavior that so many of us in the GOP have despised for years. “Conservatism works and doesn’t need to be blended” was one comment. Quarles faces other challenges that were prevalent in many comments but its clear he is very vulnerable.
Daniel Cameron, despite a second endorsement from Donald Trump, Cameron is seen as very entitled. He hasn’t made any substantial challenges to Beshear and with no real victories he runs for the top seat. Other comments, fueled by speculation, that Cameron is going to get out of the Governor’s race should Mitch retire from the Senate haunt him. Cameron is well liked for his personable demeanor but again, voters are looking for Leaders with experience to get out from under the Biden years.
Harmon, spending about the same amount as any other candidate but trailing in fundraising, holds the pole position in this statewide poll. Number 1 reason: Trustworthiness. He’s not seen as a decisive Leader but in a super corrupt place like Frankfort, Integrity still plays well.
Savannah Maddox climbed a bit. Concerns among most voters surround her age and inexperience. A good portion of voters said that numerous fundraising request really turned them away from her campaign. The overall biggest mark against Maddox is a couple votes she’s taken position on are really not the conservative position. Her unclear stance on Amendment One is changing and her campaign staff’s continuous battle with Eric Deters looks juvenile to most voters.
A contact in D.C. told me Savannah is trying for an endorsement from Washington House Members who are affiliated with Trump. Problem: Endorsements don’t translate for a large shift in support when that endorsement has already been given. Cameron has received little to no help from either of Trump’s endorsements.
Deters saw a bump because of his self funded freedom fest he is putting on everywhere. But Deters is plagued by boycotts of County chairs due to various reasons and the campaign is isolated to a regional battle with Maddox.
New comer David Cooper has made his debut on the poll. We’ll see who else joins as others are rumored to jump in.
The largest “winner” is an unknown candidate. A man or woman who embodies someone with knowledge of KY politics and the experience and smarts to make the hard choices. We need a Leader. KY voters continue to wait…
Btw, Bevin polled very low. If he were an actual candidate he would have come in 5-6 place. Bevin is seen as someone who had an opportunity of being a true conservative Governor but ended up a puppet of McConnell and company. He discredited himself by getting rid of Jenean Hampton and making shady deals like Braidy Industries.
Beshear was polling in the high 30’s but a load of issues plague him that not even his large war chest will overcome when the Republicans have a primary candidate in 2023?