The battle to see who will face Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., This fall has yet to be decided, as the votes were recorded through Tuesday night at a Democratic primary between the former US Navy fighter pilot. USA Amy McGrath and progressive progressive Charles Booker.
With about half the votes in the state, McGrath had a nine-point lead late Tuesday night, but a court order to keep polling places in Jefferson County open after the 6pm means the race is far from being determined.
Final results are expected sometime on Wednesday.
The establishment-backed McGrath, who enjoys a windfall cash raise and was the clear favorite for months, has recently seen her candidacy threatened when Booker emerged from being a long-term contender for a contender.
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Booker received a huge boost in recent weeks when he garnered the backing of the biggest names on the left: Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and First Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
The rise of Booker, who is black, comes at a time of protests across the country over police brutality against minorities and systemic racism after the deaths of Floyd George and Breonna Taylor.
Riots across the country sparked by Floyd’s death, and also by the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American emergency medical technician who was shot dead by Louisville Metro Police Department officers in March, has enlightened to Booker who lives in Louisville
“With all that has gripped the country in recent weeks, it could be turning things around,” said Jessica Taylor of the Cook Report, a major nonpartisan political impediment.
While McGrath enjoyed a great fundraising and structural advantage, Taylor noted that the current climate “seems tailor-made for a candidate like Booker. … He has been able to seize the moment and speak to the moment.”
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“Let’s bring him home. From the chapel to the scream. It’s time for PEOPLE to win, ”Booker tweeted when polls in Kentucky opened Tuesday.
Democratic strategist Michael Ceraso, a veteran of the 2016 Sanders campaign and Pete Buttigieg’s candidacy for the White House in 2020, noted that “if Kentucky voters choose a progressive to challenge McConnell, it is because the implications of a national movement, COVID and President Trump influenced them. ” . A candidate is best served when he can turn an endorsement into campaign money that grabs the attention of the media and the community on and offline. “
Participation could end up being the crucial factor in the primaries, which was originally scheduled for May but was postponed due to health concerns about in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. With all voters eligible to vote absentee, an extensive early voting by mail may mean Booker’s last-minute raise comes too late to make a difference at the polls.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.