New Poll: GOP Gubernatorial Primary Race Tightens

The race for the Republican nomination for governor is narrowing, according to new public polling released on Thursday.

A Fox 56/Emerson College Poll shows Attorney Daniel Cameron still leading the pack with 30.1%, but former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft is closing distance now at 23.9%. Nearly 15% of respondents said they would vote for Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles in the GOP primary. Still, almost 21% of voters are undecided.

The FOX 56/Emerson College poll was conducted April 10-11, 2023. The sample consisted of 900 very likely Republican Primary Voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, and education based on 2023 turnout modeling. Turnout modeling is based on US Census parameters, and Kentucky voter registration and voter turnout data. Data was collected by contacting cell phones via SMS-to-web, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines, and a consumer list of emails.

The poll shows significant movement from the Mason-Dixon Poll which was released in late January, just before Craft spent big on television ads. In that polling, Cameron held a 20-point lead over Kelly Craft (39%-13%), according to the poll. Statewide elected officials Ryan Quarles was at 8% and Mike Harmon at 5%. Twenty-eight percent of respondents were undecided.

The Fox 56/Emerson College Poll conducted this month shows Cameron to be the most favorable Republican candidate with nearly 63% of voters having a favorable view of him. Craft’s favorability is at nearly 47%, but unfavorable is at 20.4%, which could be associated with turning negative against Cameron in recent ads. Quarles also has high favorability rankings with nearly 40% of respondents having a favorable opinion, but nearly 46% had not heard of him Quarles has yet to spend on advertising – instead he has been focused on grassroots door-to-door campaign tactics.

GOP voters head to the polls on May 16 in Kentucky to cast their ballots.