(The Center Square) – A new poll shows Republican Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has pulled into a tie with Democratic incumbent Gov. Andy Beshear before Tuesday’s election.
Emerson College Polling’s survey showing a 47-47 deadlock is in stark contrast to the one it released a month ago that showed Beshear with a 16-point lead, an outlier among other surveys showing Beshear with smaller advantages. That poll had been criticized by Republicans, and even one Democratic consultant panned it in a Lexington Herald Leader article.
The most recent survey included responses from 1,000 likely voters, more than double the number of registered voters polled for October.
With few races across the country this year, Kentucky’s gubernatorial election is attracting substantial national interest and millions of dollars have been spent by both parties in the ramp-up to Tuesday’s election.
Spencer Kimball, Emerson College Polling’s executive director, said Cameron is getting a bump from former President Donald Trump.
“In October, 54% of Trump supporters supported Cameron; now, as election day approaches, that number has jumped to 79%,” Kimball said.
Earlier this week, Trump released a new video reiterating his support for Cameron.
Adding to Cameron’s benefit, undecideds are – slightly – trending in his favor. According to Emerson, of the 4% of voters who have not made a choice, 49% are leaning toward Cameron, compared to 48% for Beshear.
Surprisingly, though, when asked who they thought would be the governor after the election, regardless of their preference, 56.6% said they expected it to be Beshear.
One issue that may help Beshear is abortion. The poll found that nearly 55% oppose the state’s strict law that bans the procedure in nearly all cases, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Of that group, 84% said they would vote for Beshear.
Kimball said majorities of both men and women oppose the current law.
“The strongest opposition to the abortion law is among voters under 30 at 68%, opposition decreases with age culminating with voters 70 years of age and older at 52% in opposition to the law,” Kimball noted. “Support for state abortion laws is highest among voters ages 50 to 59 at 37%.”