Trump Supporters Rally to Cameron as Election Approaches

The final Emerson College Polling survey of Kentucky voters before the 2023 gubernatorial general election finds incumbent Governor Andy Beshear and Attorney General Daniel Cameron in a dead heat: 47% support Beshear and 47% support Cameron. Two percent support someone else and 4% are undecided. Undecided voters were asked which candidate they lean toward at this time; with their support accounted for, Cameron holds a slight advantage with 49% support to Beshear’s 48%. 

Since last month’s poll of registered Kentucky voters, Beshear’s initial support has decreased by two points, 49% to 47%, while support for Cameron increased 14 points from 33% to 47%. Undecided voters have reduced by nine points, from 13% undecided to 4% ahead of the Tuesday election.  

Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said, “Cameron appears to have gained ground by consolidating Republican voters who supported former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. In October, 54% of Trump supporters supported Cameron; now, as election day approaches, that number has jumped to 79% – a 25-point increase. Notably, October’s poll was of registered voters in Kentucky, while this final election poll includes only those who are very likely or have already voted in Kentucky.”

Support for Cameron has increased among older voters in Kentucky since the October poll. A majority of voters (58%) ages 50-69 now support Cameron for governor, a 22-point increase from October, where Cameron held 36% support among the same age group. Beshear’s support among 50-69-year-olds has dropped 9 points since October, from 49% to 40%.

Independent voters remain split between the two candidates; 48% support Cameron, while 46% support Beshear. Six percent would vote for someone else. 

A majority of voters (57%) expect Governor Beshear to be re-elected, while 41% think the Attorney General will win. 

Kentucky voters oppose the current state laws that ban abortion in nearly all cases, with no exception for rape or incest, 55% to 28% who support it; 17% are unsure. 

“Majorities of both men and women voters oppose the abortion law,” Kimball said. “Fifty-two percent of men and 58% of women voters oppose the laws, while support is relatively similar: 30% of male voters and 28% of women voters support the abortion laws.”

Three-quarters (75%) of Democrats in Kentucky oppose the current abortion laws, while a plurality of independents (47%) say the same. Republicans are more divided on the issue; a plurality (42%) support the no-exception abortion laws, while 37% oppose, and 21% are unsure.

“The strongest opposition to the abortion law is among voters under 30 at 68%, opposition decreases with age culminating with voters 70 years of age and older at 52% in opposition to the law,” Kimball noted. “Support for state abortion laws is highest among voters ages 50 to 59 at 37%.”

A significant majority (83%) of voters who support Andy Beshear for governor oppose the state’s no-exception abortion laws. In comparison, a slight majority (51%) of voters who support Cameron support the state’s abortion laws. 


The Emerson College Polling Kentucky poll was conducted October 30-November 2, 2023. The sample consisted of n=1,000 likely voters or those who have already voted, with a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, party registration, and education based on turnout modeling based on US Census parameters, and Kentucky voter registration and 2023 turnout modeling based on by regions. Data was collected by contacting a list of landlines via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and emails provided by Aristotle, cell phones via SMS-to-web, along with an online panel of voters provided by Centiment. 

It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics, such as gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, carry with them higher credibility intervals, as the sample size is reduced. Survey results should be understood within the poll’s range of scores, and know with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times.

This survey was conducted by Emerson College Polling, and questions included in this release are all sponsored by Emerson College. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results and cross tabulations can be found here.