Unless you’ve been living under a rock or lying comatose for the past four years, you’re aware that Kentucky’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear is the son of a highly-popular, former Democratic governor.
He also happens to be running for governor this year against the least popular incumbent in the U.S., current Gov. Matt Bevin, whose political acumen is as uncanny as the diss track he dropped on Sen. Tim Kaine.
Naturally, it comes as no surprise that Beshear’s path to the Governor’s Mansion looks like a cakewalk. He has a million-dollar last name, a boatload of political savvy and experience surrounding him, and the righteous indignation of tens of thousands of Kentucky teachers behind him. And now, thanks to a new poll, it looks like Beshear has the data by his side as well.
According to the poll from Clarity Campaign Labs, 48% of responding Kentucky voters say they plan to vote for Andy Beshear, compared to Matt Bevin’s 39%. That’s a solid lead for Beshear, whose campaign platform has centered upon expanding Medicaid, funding public education, and stifling Republic-led efforts to reform public pensions in Kentucky.
But while Beshear supporters have spent the past weekend celebrating those numbers, some say not so fast.
The Clarity Campaign Labs poll may eventually turn out to be accurate, but its data was collected on behalf of the Democratic Attorneys General Association. Historically, polls conducted by partisan organizations have a tendency to be slanted, so perhaps Beshear’s lead isn’t as overwhelming as some may think.
For comparison’s sake, just consider how a separate poll conducted this summer by Gravis Marketing actually showed Bevin in the lead by a 6 point margin, 48% to 42%. That may just be one poll, but it’s worth noting that there have only been two independent polls released so far, and the Gravis Marketing poll is one of them.
Yikes. That means that the “truth” probably lies somewhere between those two polls, and considering how this is likely the most consequential election for public education in generations, that should leave folks from all sides feeling a little uncomfortable.