If Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary produced a few surprises, the general election match-up between incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear isn’t one of them. Beshear went into the primary with higher name identification and a strong organization that helped him fend off a barrage of television ads from former state Auditor Adam Edelen.

In the days leading up to the primary, the conventional wisdom had been that there wasn’t much interest in the primary and that turnout would be below average. As it turns out, though, turnout in both the Democratic and Republican primaries was higher than it was in 2015 when the seat was open. In 2015, the GOP primary attracted just over 214,000 voters. On Tuesday, nearly 260,000 voters went to the polls in a contest featuring an incumbent Governor. The 2015 Democratic primary wasn’t especially competitive, and drew 173,500 voters. Tuesday’s Democratic nominating contest was much more competitive and saw nearly 395,500 voters cast ballots.

The second surprise came in the Republican primary. It’s not a secret that Bevin doesn’t have

More from the Cook Political Report

Four Possible Leaders; Four Unenviable Tasks
National Politics
Photo of Charlie Cook
First Person
Cook Politcal Logo
Where History Rhymed and Where It Didn’t
National Politics
AW