Analysis: County has state’s closest margin of Dems, GOP voters

Scott County can boast the most narrow divide of Democrats and Republicans in the state, according to an analysis by the director of the Institute for Rural Journalism & Community Issues.

According to figures collected May 1, Scott County has 18,543 Democrats and 18,456 Republicans, a margin of 87 favoring the party of FDR, JFK and LBJ.

That means the separation between the parties is 0.215 percentage point.

Statewide, the Democrats still have an advantage of 8.63 percentage points over the GOP.

Those are the findings of a spreadsheet analysis prepared by Al Cross, director of the center housed in the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media. Cross also is a former long-time political correspondent for the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Cross based the analysis on Kentucky Board of Elections figures that show, for the first time in recent years, a slight surge in the number of new Democrats registering statewide.

“Obama was bad for the Democratic brand in states like this,” Cross said.

“The new registration figures indicates Trump isn’t all that good for the Republican brand,” he said.

President Trump resoundingly defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 in Kentucky, where Obama’s two terms spurred an increase in GOP support leading to that party’s victory in legislative races and the 2015 governor’s race.

But while Trump “has solidified a loyal following” in Kentucky, Cross said, “a number of Republicans are unhappy with him because of his behavior.”

Across Kentucky, 3,368,119 voters are registered. Of that total, 1,684,898 are Democrats, 1,393,906 are Republicans and the rest – just over 289,000 – are affiliated with other parties or are independent.

The next most-narrow margin separating the parties was in Shelby County, with the spread amounting to 0.77 percentage point.

The Democrats’ greatest advantage in terms of the margin is in Breathitt County, where 87.7 percent of registered voters are blue.

The reverse is true in deep-red Leslie County, where 86.9 percent are Republican.

Both are in Eastern Kentucky, and both have small populations.

The largest number of Republicans is found in Jefferson County, the state’s most populous county. The Louisville area has 195,279 GOP-affiliated voters.

But the county also has the largest number of Democrats – 337,829.

Next largest for the GOP is Fayette County, with 85,068, but again, Democrats have 119,216 registered voters.

Northern Kentucky’s populous Campbell, Kenton and Boone counties each have more Republicans than Democrats, but they also have large numbers of independent voters, according to Cross’ analysis.

Cross also provided party membership breakdowns for Kentucky’s six congressional districts.

The First District – far western to south central Kentucky – has 290,690 Democrats and 216,659 Republicans. The Second District, counties south of Louisville, has 264,219 Democrats to 242,964 Republicans.

Louisville’sThird District has 331,147 Democrats to 164,250 GOP-affiliated voters.

The Fourth District, largely northern Ohio River counties and immediate neighbors, is Republican majority, with 275,034 Republicans to 250,980 Democrats.

Likewise, the Fifth District is dominated by the GOP, with 263,454 Republicans to 242,677 Democrats.

Central Kentucky’sSixth District, which includes Scott County, has 305,185 Democrats and 211,545 Republicans.

Interestingly, despite their majorities in most congressional districts, a Democrat currently holds only Louisville’sThird District seat.

The rest, including the Sixth, all are represented by Republicans.

This article provided by NewsEdge.

This article provided by NewsEdge.