2016 Elections

Abbey Oldham

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says he spoke to Donald Trump Wednesday and congratulated the president-elect on his victory in Tuesday’s election. Republicans also maintained their majorities in the House and Senate. McConnell says Trump’s victory came in a “stunning” election. “And clearly an indication that the American people would like to try something new,” he says. “And I know the speaker shares my view that we would like to see the country go in a different direction and intend to work with him to change the course for America.” McConnell says he expects Trump to act quickly in nominating someone to fill the Supreme Court vacancy and to initiate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

J. Tyler Franklin

The head of the Warren County Republican Party says his party’s huge gains in the state House are more evidence of how the GOP has expanded its influence in Kentucky. Scott Lasley, who is also a political science professor at Western Kentucky University, says the 17 seats Republicans picked up Tuesday are the result of the party’s increased focus on selecting quality candidates. He says the party is now competitive in parts of the state where it used to not even put up a challenger against Democratic incumbents If you go back and look at the data and the evolution of open seat races and uncontested races, it’s always that you had a bunch of Democrats that are running uncontested. Now it’s a bunch of Republicans that are uncontested,” Lasley said.

Five Arrested at WKU While Protesting Trump's Election

Nov 10, 2016
WKU

Five people have been arrested at Western Kentucky University after demonstrators began protesting the election of Donald Trump as president. Protesters clashed with Trump supporters Wednesday evening outside a residence hall. Campus police Sgt. Rafael Casas said the crowd gathered outside Pearce Ford Tower was peaceful at first, but then escalated into people shoving each other and throwing bottles. The Warren County Sheriff's Department said deputies were called to assist campus police with the large "out of control" crowd. The agency said it arrested five people who refused multiple orders to leave the area. All five are charged with failure to disperse and disorderly conduct. The sheriff's office says the arrests were made to maintain order and ensure public safety.

J. Tyler Franklin

With Republicans in control of the state House, Senate and governor’s office, Kentuckians can expect a new push for conservative policies during the upcoming legislative session. At the top of the list, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said on WHAS’ Leland Conway show Wednesday morning that he wants to pass so-called “right-to-work” legislation, repeal the prevailing wage on public works projects, revoke Common Core public school standards and allow charter schools in the state. Bevin campaigned on the same issues during his race for governor last year, but soon-to-be-ousted Democrats leading the state House refused to take up the issues during his first year in office. Now that Republicans control the chamber, House GOP leader Jeff Hoover wouldn’t say which specific policies his caucus would push for.

With New Majority, Bevin Vows Tax Reform in 2017

Nov 9, 2016
J. Tyler Franklin

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said Kentucky's new Republican legislature would overhaul the state's tax code in 2017, but it would most likely have to happen in a special session. Bevin told WHAS radio host Leland Conway that tax reform "will happen" in 2017, but said it is unrealistic to think the legislature can get it done in a 30-day session that begins in January. Bevin did not say what the new tax code would look like, but said he is open to eliminating the income tax. Republicans won a majority in the state House of Representatives on Tuesday for the first time since 1920. Bevin vowed the new majority would pass a right-to-work law, reform the court system, pass school choice, repeal the prevailing wage and get rid of the Common Core educational standards.

Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton finds herself on the wrong end of an electoral split, moving ahead in the popular vote but losing to President-elect Donald Trump in the Electoral College, according to the latest numbers emerging Wednesday. As of 10 a.m. ET, Clinton had amassed 59,299,381 votes nationally, to Trump's 59,135,740 — a margin of 163,641 that puts Clinton on track to become the fifth U.S. presidential candidate to win the popular vote but lose the election. Neither candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote — as of 10 a.m. ET, Clinton stood at 47.7 percent and Trump at 47.5 percent. "Trump crossed the 270 electoral vote threshold at 2:31 a.m. ET with a victory in Wisconsin," NPR's Carrie Johnson reports . If the final tally follows the current trend, the result would mark the second time in the past 16 years that a Democrat has lost a national election while winning the popular vote. In 2000, Al Gore narrowly won the popular vote against George Bush, but he lost the presidency by five electoral votes in a hotly contested result.

Chelsea Beck/NPR

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, like the business career that preceded it, was unpredictable, undisciplined and unreliable. Despite those qualities — or perhaps, in part, because of them — it was also successful. So what should we expect from President-elect Trump, mindful that his path to the White House has defied expectations at every turn? Some of Trump’s ambitions have been clearly telegraphed: He plans to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, deport millions of criminal immigrants, unwind trade deals dating back more than two decades and repeal Obamacare. He’s also promised to cut taxes and eliminate numerous government regulations — including power plant rules designed to combat global warming. With the presidential pen and a friendly Republican Congress, Trump should have little trouble delivering on those promises.

J. Tyler Franklin

Republican Sen. Rand Paul has won reelection to his seat, defeating Democratic challenger Jim Gray, the mayor of Lexington. Paul won all but seven of Kentucky’s 120 counties. In his victory speech, Paul quoted the rock group Pink Floyd and said government needs to get out of the way of individuals’ creativity. “The goal should be to set you free,” he said. “To leave you alone. To have a government so small you can barely see it.” Paul is at the end of his first term in the Senate. He was part of a crowded field of candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president but suspended his campaign at the beginning of this year.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky is officially a deeply Republican state after the party secured a majority of seats in the state House of Representatives during elections on Tuesday. The GOP will now have control of the state House, state Senate and Governorship. House Republican Leader Jeff Hoover said the election was a victory for conservatives in the state. “Today, Kentuckians made their conservative values heard loud and clear,” Hoover said at an election party in Louisville. “While rejecting the out-of-touch policies of liberal Democrats.”

Lisa Autry

Welcome to our live election blog, where we'll be covering races from across our listening area all day long. Our news team will begin sharing election results as soon as they become official when all polls in Kentucky have closed at 6 p.m. central/7 eastern time. NPR’s live national coverage starts an hour later, at 7p.m. central. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What You Need To Know Before You Hit The Polls

Nov 8, 2016
WKU Public Radio

Election Day is upon us. WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting will be watchdogging the polls and on the lookout for any irregularities or issues that may pop up. ( And we could use your help ). If you, like us, are hoping for a seamless Election Day, there are several things you should know before you pull the lever, punch those buttons or fill out your ballot. WHERE DO I VOTE? Use your name and birth date to look up your polling precinct location and legislative district here . The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you’re in line at 6 p.m., you can still vote: The precinct sheriff goes to the end of the line and stays there until everyone in front of him/her has voted. Kentucky spans two time zones and voting hours apply to your local time zone .

Aside from the cliches that it all comes down to turnout and that the only poll that counts is the one on Election Day, one more truism that talking heads will repeat endlessly Tuesday is that demographics are destiny. It may make you want to throw a shoe at the TV (or radio), but (as they say) cliches are cliches for a reason. Breaking the electorate into these smaller chunks tells a lot about what people like and dislike about a candidate, not to mention how a rapidly changing electorate is...

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates were both bad-mouthing Washington as they toured the state's largest media markets on the eve of the general election. In Lexington, Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul predicted "a big, big year for conservatives" Monday because he said Kentuckians are "sick and tired of big government." In Louisville, Democrat challenger Jim Gray said people are "exhausted with the gridlock and dysfunction," and said the only way to change Washington is to "change the people we send up there." Paul is seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate following his failed presidential campaign last year. Gray, the mayor of Lexington, is hoping to become the state's first openly gay U.S. senator. Paul appeared with U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, while Gray campaigned with former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

Alexandra Kanik

The opioid epidemic is on the agenda for political campaigns from the presidential race down to the local level in the Ohio Valley region. Election Day could shape the response to the crisis in states with some of the nation’s highest rates of addiction and overdoses. Pat Fogarty, Director of Business Development and Mission Advancement at The Healing Place treatment center in Louisville said he’s seen the political discussion about addiction change for the better. “There’s less stigma around addiction by the way it’s been approached by our leadership,” he said. “That needs to continue to snowball for the future and not be put on the backburner.” Addiction specialists say that while they’ve seen progress, there is still need for treatment resources, prevention programs, and aid for law enforcement across the region. They hope candidates in this year’s election cycle understand those needs.

Election Day is nearly upon us. So where does the electoral map stand? It's a close race, with Hillary Clinton retaining a broad and consistent but shallow advantage, according to the final NPR Battleground Map. Compared with a couple of weeks ago, when Clinton hit her peak lead, the race has tightened. So our map reflects that — almost all of the moves benefit Trump, though because of one potentially determinative move, Clinton still surpasses the 270 electoral votes needed to be president...

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