Democratic Campaigns Mount Full Court Press In Kentucky

May 13, 2016

Democratic candidates and their surrogates are hopping from town to town, drumming up excitement as Kentucky’s primary approaches.

Credit Associated Press

The Clintons, in particular, have made a second home out of the Commonwealth in recent weeks.

Thursday, former President Bill Clinton hit the stage in Frankfort – praising late Owensboro Sen. Wendell Ford and touting the front-runner’s chances to turn Kentucky into Clinton Country – before making an impromptu stop at Lexington's Thursday Night Live downtown. Hillary Clinton is also set to return to the state during the two days leading up to the primary.

Drawing impressive crowds in the bluegrass last week, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is slated to bring his message of "political revolution" t0 a pair of smaller cities, Bowling Green and Paducah, over the weekend.

With little in the way of polling data, political analyst Stephen Voss says it’s fair to call the state a battleground. He notes that the closed primary, a healthy population of conservative Democrats, and an endorsement from former Gov. Steve Beshear bode well for the former secretary of state.

"All of these pressures point to Clinton having an advantage," he says. "On the other hand, Bernie Sanders does well in states where the Republicans dominate, when liberals have sort of retreated to be just a small pocket of voters in the state."

Despite all the selfies and emphasis on retail politicking, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is predicting lackluster turnout of around 20 percent Tuesday. 60 delegates are at stake in the closed primary. They will be awarded proportionally, except for five superdelegates.