2016 United States Senate election in Kentucky

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2016 United States Senate election in Kentucky

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  Rand Paul, official portrait, 112th Congress alternate (cropped).jpg Mayor Jim Gray.jpg
Nominee Rand Paul Jim Gray
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,090,177 813,246
Percentage 57.3% 42.7%

Kentucky Senate Election Results by County, 2016.svg
County Results

Paul:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%

Gray:      50–60%      70–80%

U.S. Senator before election

Rand Paul
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Rand Paul
Republican

The 2016 United States Senate election in Kentucky was held November 8, 2016 to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of Kentucky, concurrently with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. The primaries were held May 17.

Incumbent Republican Senator Rand Paul filed for re-election in December 2015, and Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington filed to run against Paul for the Senate in late January 2016. In the general election, Paul defeated Gray by a 15-point margin.

Background[edit]

If Paul had become the Republican presidential (or vice-presidential) nominee, state law would have prohibitted him from simultaneously running for re-election.[1] In March 2014, the Republican-controlled Kentucky Senate passed a bill that would allow Paul to run for both offices, but the Democratic-controlled Kentucky House of Representatives declined to take it up.[2][3][4] Paul spent his own campaign money in the 2014 legislative elections, helping Republican candidates for the State House in the hopes of flipping the chamber, thus allowing the legislature to pass the bill (Democratic Governor Steve Beshear's veto could have been overridden with a simple majority).[5][6] However, the Democrats retained their 54-46 majority in the State House.[7][8][9]

Paul was running for both president and re-election, and considered several options to get around the law preventing him from appearing twice on the ballot, but he dropped his presidential bid to focus on re-election to the Senate on February 3, 2016.[10] His supporters said the law does not apply to federal offices and suggested changing the May Kentucky presidential primaries to March caucuses would allow Paul to run for re-election and continue to seek the presidential nomination.[11] However, this option would have only worked until the presidential primaries were over, as he would still have had to appear on the ballot twice in November if he had won the Republican presidential nomination. Other options that were open to him included running for both offices and leaving it to Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to remove him from the ballot; attempting to replace Grimes in the 2015 elections with a Republican Secretary of State who would not enforce the law; filing a lawsuit against the law; and running for president in every state except for Kentucky, where he could have run for re-election and hoped to win the presidency without Kentucky's electoral college votes.[12]

In a letter to Kentucky Republicans in February 2015, Paul asked them to allow him the same option afforded to Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who ran for re-election at the same time as Vice President on Mitt Romney's ticket.[13] David M. Drucker of The Washington Examiner reported in the same month that Kentucky Republican leaders were concerned that Paul's actions could mean that if he wins the Republican presidential nomination and is renominated for the Senate, he could either be disqualified from the Senate ballot and the state party blocked from replacing him, which would hand the seat to the Democrats, or he could be disqualified from the presidential ballot, which would see the Democratic presidential nominee pick up Kentucky's 8 electoral college votes.[14]

In August 2015, the central committee of the Kentucky Republican Party voted to hold a caucus in 2016, allowing Paul to simultaneously run for re-nomination for his seat and the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.[15] State law would still bar Paul from appearing twice on the ballot in the general election.[15] However, on February 3, 2016, Rand Paul dropped out of the 2016 presidential campaign, allowing him to focus on his reelection bid.

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Rand Paul
Governors
U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
Statewide politicians
Individuals
Organizations

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Rand Paul 169,180 84.79%
Republican James Gould 16,611 8.33%
Republican Stephen Slaughter 13,728 6.88%
Total votes 199,519 100.00%

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Jim Gray
Organizations
Sellus Wilder
Organizations

Results[edit]

Democratic primary results[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jim Gray 240,613 58.73%
Democratic Sellus Wilder 52,728 12.87%
Democratic Ron Leach 39,026 9.53%
Democratic Tom Recktenwald 21,910 5.35%
Democratic Grant Short 21,558 5.26%
Democratic Jeff Kender 20,239 4.94%
Democratic Rory Houlihan 13,585 3.32%
Total votes 409,659 100.00%

General election[edit]

Debates[edit]

Dates Location Paul Gray Link
October 31, 2016 Lexington, Kentucky Participant Participant Full debate - C-SPAN

Predictions[edit]

Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[59] Safe R September 9, 2016
Sabato's Crystal Ball[60] Safe R September 19, 2016
Rothenberg Political Report[61] Safe R September 2, 2016
Daily Kos[62] Safe R September 16, 2016
Real Clear Politics[63] Likely R September 15, 2016

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Rand
Paul (R)
Jim
Gray (D)
Undecided
Cofounder Pulse Poll March 30 – April 1, 2016 758 ± 3.0% 28% 26% 47%
Harper Polling July 31 – August 1, 2016 500 ± 4.4% 50% 38% 13%
Cofounder Pulse Poll August 2–4, 2016 508 ± 3.6% 59% 41% 0%
Cofounder Pulse Poll September 14–16, 2016 834 ± 3.2% 33% 25% 42%
Cofounder Pulse Poll October 12–15, 2016 816 ± 3.4% 33% 27% 40%
Cofounder Pulse Poll October 26–28, 2016 1,016 ± 3.8% 35% 28% 38%
RunSwitch Public Relations (R) October 26–28, 2016 811 ± 3.4% 52% 42% 6%
Western Kentucky University October 25–30, 2016 602 ± 4.0% 55% 39% 6%
SurveyMonkey October 25–31, 2016 424 ± 4.6% 52% 46% 2%
SurveyMonkey October 26 – November 1, 2016 499 ± 4.6% 51% 44% 5%
SurveyMonkey October 27 – November 2, 2016 635 ± 4.6% 50% 46% 4%
SurveyMonkey October 28 – November 3, 2016 843 ± 4.6% 52% 45% 3%
SurveyMonkey October 31 – November 6, 2016 1,155 ± 4.6% 51% 46% 3%
SurveyMonkey November 1–7, 2016 1,315 ± 4.6% 50% 46% 4%

Results[edit]

United States Senate election in Kentucky, 2016 [64]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Rand Paul (incumbent) 1,090,177 57.27% +1.58%
Democratic Jim Gray 813,246 42.73% -1.53%
n/a Write-ins 42 0.00% N/A
Total votes 1,903,465 100.0% N/A
Republican hold

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shafer, Jack (March 14, 2013). "Paul, Rubio face 2016 bind". Politico. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  2. ^ Berman, Matt (April 2, 2014). "Marco Rubio Won't Run for Senate in 2016 if He Runs for President". National Journal. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  3. ^ Youngman, Sam (March 18, 2014). "Kentucky Senate passes bill to let Rand Paul run for re-election and president in 2016". www.kentucky.com. Kentucky.com. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Silverleib, Alan (April 17, 2014). "Dead for now: Kentucky bill allowing twin Paul 2016 runs". www.cnn.com. CNN. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  5. ^ "The Obscure Kentucky Contests That Could Alter Rand Paul's 2016 Plans". National Journal. August 14, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  6. ^ "Will Rand Paul Have to Risk His Senate Seat for the Presidency?". Reason.com. September 2, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  7. ^ "Democrats maintain control of Kentucky House of Representatives". Lexington Herald-Leader. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  8. ^ "Democrats hold Kentucky House, a minor blow to Rand Paul's presidential hopes". The Washington Post. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  9. ^ "Kentucky looks at primary change that would help Rand Paul". Politico. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  10. ^ King, John (February 3, 2016). "Rand Paul dropping out of presidential race - CNNPolitics.com". Cnn.com. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  11. ^ "Paul close to announcing reelection bid". The Hill. November 18, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  12. ^ "Inside Rand Paul's Plan to Run for Senate and President at the Same Time". The National Journal. December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  13. ^ "Rand Paul Is Looking to April to Announce Plan to Run for President, Associates Say". The New York Times. February 17, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  14. ^ "Rand Paul's hazardous Kentucky plan". The Washington Examiner. February 20, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Meyer, Theodoric (August 22, 2015). "Kentucky GOP greenlights joint Senate, presidential run for Rand Paul". Politico. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g "Candidate Filings with the Office of the Secretary of State". Secretary of State of Kentucky. Archived from the original on November 22, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  17. ^ DeHart, Larry (December 28, 2015). "Former Moreheadian running for U.S. Senate". The Morehead News. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  18. ^ Jennifer Epstein (April 19, 2011). "Rand Paul files for reelection race five years away". Politico.
  19. ^ Autry, Lisa (January 18, 2016). "Challengers Line Up for Rand Paul's Senate Seat". WKU Public Radio. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h Livingston, Abby (July 17, 2013). "Grimes Is Key to Kentucky Democrats' Posterity | Farm Team". Roll Call. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Paul, Rand (July 17, 2013). "Rand Paul to Seek Re-Election to the U.S. Senate". Rand Paul for Senate. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
  22. ^ a b c d "Previewing Kentucky's 2016 U.S. Senate Race". WDRB. April 18, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  23. ^ Ditto, Jessica (December 4, 2015). "Governor-Elect Bevin Names Hal Heiner Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary". Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  24. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra (March 21, 2013). "Rep. Massie says no to Kentucky Senate bid". The Hill. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  25. ^ a b c d e "Sen. Rand Paul Releases Endorsements from Kentucky Statewide Elected Officials and Leadership". Republican Party of Kentucky. December 22, 2015.
  26. ^ Arco, Matt (February 3, 2016). "Christie says he'll gladly campaign for nemesis Rand Paul's Senate bid". NJ.com.
  27. ^ "Kasich: I'd campaign for Rand in KY Senate race". Associated Press. February 3, 2016.
  28. ^ Palin, Sarah. "I was proud to be an early supporter of Sen. Paul's first campaign for US Senate in 2010 and today am pledging to do all I can to make sure this strong leader returns to the Senate in 2016". Facebook.
  29. ^ "Marco Rubio: He's probably going to focus on his Senate re-election in Kentucky and we have to make sure that he's re-elected". YouTube. February 3, 2016.
  30. ^ "Rand Paul - A message from Ron Paul: One of the keys for..." Facebook. March 30, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  31. ^ Paul, Rand (March 31, 2016). "A message from Dr. Ben Carson: I've had the pleasure of knowing Rand and his character, and it is in knowing him that I fully support his re-election to the United States Senate". Facebook.
  32. ^ [1] Archived September 16, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ "Austin Petersen - A Message to Rand Paul from Austin Petersen". Facebook. February 3, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  34. ^ Sherfinski, David (November 12, 2014). "Club for Growth endorses six GOP senators for re-election in 2016". The Washington Times. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  35. ^ "FreedomWorks PAC Endorses Sen. Rand Paul for Re-Election". FreedomWorks. February 3, 2016.
  36. ^ a b "Unofficial Results". Kentucky Secretary of State. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  37. ^ Youngman, Sam (January 26, 2016). "Lexington Mayor Jim Gray running against U.S. Sen. Rand Paul". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  38. ^ Caudill, TJ (January 12, 2016). "Kender runs for Senate". The Hazard Herald. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  39. ^ Sheroan, Ben (January 14, 2016). "Ron Leach planning drive for U.S. Senate". The News-Enterprise. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  40. ^ Mayse, James (January 19, 2016). "Owensboro man files to run for U.S. Senate". Messenger-Inquirer. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  41. ^ Willis/Autry, Kevin/Lisa (January 28, 2016). "Former Kentucky House Speaker: Democrat's Senate Candidate Should Harp on Paul's White House Run". WKU.
  42. ^ Kocher, Greg (May 25, 2015). "Frankfort filmmaker tells the story of people he thinks helped to kill proposed Bluegrass Pipeline". Kentucky.com.
  43. ^ McKenzie, Elijah (March 18, 2016). "Interview: Sellus Wilder on how grassroots activism helped stop the Bluegrass Pipeline". Broken Sidewalk.
  44. ^ a b c d Cheney, Kyle (December 29, 2014). "16 in '16: The new battle for the Senate". Politico. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  45. ^ "Adkins files for re-election in 99th House District". The Independent. January 15, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  46. ^ "State Auditor Adam Edelen shares thoughts on his election loss, the Democratic Party's decline, and how to move forward". Insider Louisville. November 5, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  47. ^ "Greg Fischer says focus is on work to do in Louisville; Mum on U.S. Senate race in '16". CN2. August 17, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  48. ^ TEGNA (March 3, 2015). "Fischer: 'No intention' to enter 2016 U.S. Senate race". WHAS11.com. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  49. ^ a b c Sonka, Joe (January 6, 2016). "Louisville attorney and retired Marine Andrew Horne considering Senate run against Rand Paul". Insider Louisville. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  50. ^ Yokley, Eli (January 19, 2016). "Kentucky Democrats Running out of Time to Challenge Paul". Roll Call. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  51. ^ a b c d e f Storm, Nick (April 11, 2015). "The list: Adam Edelen leads Democratic chatter for 2016 U.S. Senate candidates". CN2 Pure Politics. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  52. ^ David Weigel (July 13, 2014). "The Seven Senate Races Democrats Should Be Optimistic About in 2016". Slate. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  53. ^ Lisa Autry (December 4, 2014). "It's Still Possible Kentucky Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen Might Run For Office Again Someday". WFPL News. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  54. ^ Storm, Nick (August 9, 2013). "Louisville lawyer Jennifer Moore mulling statewide run in 2015 or 2016". CN2 Pure Politics. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  55. ^ Storm, Nick (March 19, 2016). "Lexington Mayor Jim Gray endorsed by DSCC in Democratic primary for U.S. Senate". CN 2. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  56. ^ Storm, Nick (April 8, 2016). "Environmental PAC endorses Sellus Wilder in Democratic U.S. Senate primary". CN 2. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  57. ^ "Democrat Sellus Wilder picks up KFTC endorsement for U.S. Senate, says he's 'credible contender' to Jim Gray in primary". Insider Louisville. March 29, 2016.
  58. ^ "Sellus Wilder not afraid to lose". The Courier‑Journal. May 12, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  59. ^ "2016 Senate Race Ratings for September 9, 2016". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  60. ^ "2016 Senate". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  61. ^ "2016 Senate Ratings (September 2, 2016)". Senate Ratings. The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  62. ^ "Election Outlook: 2016 Race Ratings". Daily Kos. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  63. ^ "Battle for the Senate 2016". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  64. ^ "Official Results" (PDF). Kentucky Secretary of State. Retrieved December 20, 2016.

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites