Kentucky State House Special Elections – March 8th (Updated 1:45 pm)

I’m not sure I’m going to be able to write a full post about today’s extremely significant State House special elections in Kentucky, but here is what I’ve tweeted about these races so far.  I’ll be posting all day on Twitter, and I’ll try to update this post periodically to keep everything in one place:

  • With all the Presidential stuff going on, it’s easy to forget that partisan control of the KY State House is at stake w/ 4 specials today.
  • The current composition is 50 D, 46 R. HD #54 & HD #62 were vacated by GOP State Reps Harmon & Quarles, who won statewide office in Nov.
  • The vacancies in HD #8 and HD #98 were created when Gov.-elect Bevin (R) appointed incumbent Democratic State Reps to other positions.
  • All 4 districts were carried by Gov. Bevin (R) in November by 10 points, although the margins for other KY statewide offices were closer.  (actually, only 3 of the 4 districts were won by 10 points by Gov. Bevin (R))
  • KY Dems need to win 1 of 4 to keep House control. Their best chance is in (in order): HD #98, HD #8, then HD #62. No D chance in HD #54.
  • Approx. voter turnout for: Five KY State House specials since 2010: 18% (avg) ’15 KY Gov. elex: 30% ’14 mid-terms (McConnell re-elect): 45%
  • Actually, KY Gov. Bevin (R) only narrowly won HD #8 LY, although McConnell won here by 13 in 2014. So HD #8 likely best chance for Dem hold.

Here is a dramatic illustration of the difference in party voting performance in Kentucky.  Many voters are registered Democrats, either due to legacy reasons or because of local government, but they vote strongly Republican in statewide contests.  The following chart shows the number of voters by party as compared to the actual vote totals in the 2015 gubernatorial race, for each of the four State House districts conducting special elections today:

2015 KY Governor Turnout by party


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