Governor’s race spending heats up

Published 10:03 am Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Kentucky’s election season may have just officially launched last week at Fancy Farm, but anyone tracking ad spending wouldn’t know it.

As of Aug. 10, total spending on television and radio advertisements has exceeded $22 million, according to Medium Buying.

With nearly three months left before the election, this figure already surpasses the entirety of spending in the 2019 gubernatorial general election, which reached $20.87 million.

Democratic groups supporting Gov. Andy Beshear for reelection have thus far outspent Republican groups supporting Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

The Democratic groups, which include the Beshear campaign, Defending Bluegrass Values and Preserve, Protect and Defend, have spent over $13 million on ads.

The Republican groups, which include the Cameron campaign, KY Values/State Solutions, Bluegrass Freedom Action and the School Freedom Fund, have spent over $8 million.

Democrat groups supporting Gov. Andy Beshear have outspent Republican groups supporting Attorney General Daniel Cameron thus far in the general election, according to Medium Buying data.


In other data news, a pair of polls on the race have been published in the past month.

The first poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies in late July, found that Beshear held a four-point lead over Cameron, 49% to 45%, within the margin of error.

It was sponsored by the Republican State Leadership Committee.

The second poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling in mid-August, had Beshear with a greater gap – 49% to 41%.

It was sponsored by the Beshear campaign.

Beshear responded to the results of the latest poll at his weekly presser.

“I believe that people want a governor that talks about the things that impact them most – jobs, economic development, public safety, public education, infrastructure, health care,” he said.

“… I think what you’ve seen in this race is a difference between vision and division. While I’m trying to talk about a better life for our families and good jobs, my opponent is obsessed over kids and gender reassignment surgeries.”

Cameron, for his part, said he felt “very good” about his chances at an Aug. 10 press conference.

“Every day, including today, where we get to talk about our record and our values in contrast with Andy Beshear’s values is a good day for us on the campaign,” he said. “The fact that this governor is out of step and has demonstrated that time and time again makes it clear that Kentucky’s going to move in a different direction on Nov. 7.”

Also last week, Beshear announced an early budget proposal for 2024-26 focused on law enforcement.

His proposed budget includes additional raises for Kentucky State Police officers, improved pension benefits for state law enforcement, a $500 local officer training stipend increase and grant funding for body armor upgrades.

“Investing in our law enforcement is critical to building that better Kentucky and making the commonwealth the safest place for our families to live and prosper,” Beshear said.

The Kentucky legislature would have to support this budget for it to pass into law. Cameron responded to the budget proposal by calling Beshear a “catch and release candidate.”

“Now, during an election year, he is trying to rewrite his record,” Cameron said. “I am still the only candidate in this race with a plan to reduce crime. And I am the only candidate in this race who actually has the relationships in the legislature to deliver.”