Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron won the Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday night, raising a challenge against Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in November.

Cameron, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, defeated Republican challengers, including former United Nations ambassador Kelly Craft and agriculture commissioner Ryan Quarles, to take on Beshear. He is seen as a rising star in Republican politics and made history as the first black candidate to become a major party nominee in a Kentucky gubernatorial race, according to the Associated Press.

Despite Kentucky’s conservative leaning, the gubernatorial race is expected to be competitive in November, with both Cameron and Beshear having a chance to win. Beshear is a popular governor who narrowly defeated former Gov. Matt Bevin in 2019, winning by less than half a percentage point.

While the race is competitive, early polls suggest Beshear may have a slight lead over his Republican opponent.

KY: Daniel Cameron's chances of beating Andy Beshear
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, left, in the East Room of the White House on February 10, 2023, in Washington, DC Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, right, addresses the National Convention Republican on August 25, 2020, in Washington, DC Cameron won the Republican primary in the Kentucky gubernatorial race on Tuesday, setting up a battle against Beshear in November.
Anne Moneymaker/Getty; Chip Somodevilla/Getty

What the polls say about Cameron’s chances of victory

A Mason Dixon Polling & Strategy poll found Beshear leading by nine percentage points, with 49 percent of those polled saying they planned to vote for the incumbent. Forty percent said they planned to endorse Cameron.

However, the poll pointed to Cameron as the Republican with the best chance of defeating Beshear in the general election.

The governor led Quarles by 17 points and Craft by 25 points in a hypothetical matchup, according to the poll, which surveyed 625 registered voters from January 18 to 23 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

news week has reached out to Cameron’s campaign by email for comment.

Beshear is one of the most popular American governors

Meanwhile, Beshear remains one of the most popular governors in the United States. TO Morning Consultation Surveyconducted from October 1 to December 31, 2022, found that 60 percent of Kentucky voters approve of Beshear, while only 34 percent said they disapprove, making him the most popular Democratic governor in the country.

Although Beshear remains popular, Kentucky is a deeply conservative state that typically backs Republicans. During the 2020 presidential race, Trump defeated President Joe Biden in the state by nearly 26 points, meaning Beshear will need to win some Republican votes to win a November victory.

The Cook Political Report, an organization that monitors US elections, calls the Kentucky gubernatorial race “poor Democratic.” Races with this classification are “considered competitive races, but one party has the advantage.”

Cameron notably rose to national prominence following the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police in 2020, sparking nationwide protests as the country grappled with race relations that summer. Cameron’s handling of the case came under scrutiny over her indictment recommendations to a grand jury.

He also received early support from Trump, who remains popular in the Republican-leaning state. The former president endorsed Cameron’s campaign in June, praising the Republican as “absolutely outstanding in every way.”

Prior to the 2019 election, Beshear served as Kentucky’s attorney general from 2016 to 2019, succeeded by Cameron. Beshear is also the son of former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, who served from 2007 to 2015.

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