FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — Attorney General Daniel Cameron will take on Gov. Andy Beshear in November to become Kentucky’s next governor. Voters have some downtime until then; for many the real campaign season won’t be back until fancy farm in August. But that won’t stop the national attention this race will bring as many start looking to Kentucky as a bellwether for the race to the White House.

Cameron walked away with more than 47% of the vote, exceeding expectations of both the April and May polls conducted by FOX 56 News/Emerson College.

“I don’t think a month ago we ever would have imagined Daniel Cameron would have won by such a large margin. I don’t think we would have imagined that Ryan Quarles would finish such a strong second or that Kelly Craft would be a distant third,” FOX 56 News Political Analyst Jonathan Miller said.


Although the poll found her finishing in second, Miller said Craft’s third-place finish still tracks with the latest FOX 56 News/Emerson College poll on issues: that GOP voters are more concerned about the economy and jobs.

“They didn’t place as high a priority on wokeness or immigration, as her ads did. And also the Trump endorsement, 50% of those polled said it made a difference to them,” Miller said.

“The Trump culture of winning is alive and well in Kentucky,” Cameron said in his Tuesday night victory speech.

This endorsement however may not be as motivating for the General Election across all Kentucky voters. Miller said Trump’s impact will likely depend on what happens over the next few months.

“There could be indictments in Atlanta there could be indictments on the document retention thing. So far those have helped Trump. But the thought may be that the more they accumulate the tougher it’ll be,” Miller said.

The environment is different for incumbent Andy Beshear this go-round. He won by a close margin against an unpopular Republican incumbent then. Beshear has polled as the most popular Democrat governor in the country, but also in the last year Republican voter registrations have outpaced Democrats in the Commonwealth.

 “We’re not in a purple state. We’re in a red state. And we’ve got a pattern over the last couple of decades of voting strongly Republican. So, I really do see this as a barn burner. I think we’re going to be up late that night,” Miller said.

Currently, there’s a lot of speculation on who Cameron’s lieutenant governor pick will be. Ryan Quarles’s name has been floated to bring in more rural voter support and Louisville GOP State Sen. Julie Raque Adams has also been suggested. Miller said voters will likely hear more over the next few weeks.