Voter Funnel Study
The 2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial Election

Television Remains the Most Important Influencer, as Seen in the 2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial Race

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The 2019 Kentucky gubernatorial election took place on November 5th, 2019, where the Democratic nominee, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (who also happens to be the son of former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear) defeated incumbent Matt Bevin, a Republican who was very unpopular in the state. The race was extremely close; Beshear won by a margin of just over 5,000 votes, or less than 0.5%. Bevin conceded on November 14th, after a recanvas took place that did not change the outcome. Statewide turnout was just over 42%, much higher than the 2015 gubernatorial election.

The Voter Funnel Study set out to determine the impact of different media used in the 2019 Kentucky race. An online survey administered by Dynata of over 1,000 adults asked registered voters about their exposure to advertising they saw/heard/read on ANY of 20+ media platforms, and what impact it had on them.

Among the results:

  • Voters’ decisions were influenced by media. In the first stage of the Voter Funnel (awareness), 94% of voters said some type of media influenced them; 40% cited TV as the “most important,” followed by 10% who cited local TV station websites and/or apps, making an extremely powerful combination. Rounding out the top 5 included social media (8%), radio (6%) and an ad in the mail (4%).
  • 67% of voters said television motivated them to get out and vote, twice that of the next closest, social media, at 34%.
  • Local broadcast TV news was the most trusted news source, while news on local TV station websites and/or apps was the most trusted digital source. Voters found fake news to be most prevalent on social media and cable news.
  • Political online searches were influenced by TV ads. Overall, 76% of adults said TV ads did influence their political online search, growing with Republicans (77%), Democrats (78%) and adults 18-34 (86%).


Source: Dynata / Adults 18+ / N = 940 (Media with at least 1 funnel stage at 3%+ shown, 2%, 1% & 0% only not shown/labelled) QA4/QA5/QA6/QA7/QA8: Thinking about the ads you saw/heard for candidates, which advertising media was most important in making you aware of/interested in/influenced you to get more information on/consider voting for/vote for the candidate(s)”


Source: Dynata / Adults 18+ / N = 535 (Yes = Every time, Most of the time & Sometimes)
QA10: “When doing an online search for candidates or ballot issues, how often, if at all, have the TV advertisements you have seen in this category influenced you in some way in your search selections?”


Source: Dynata / Adults 18+ / N = 1037 (Television = Nat’l Broadcast, Local Broadcast, Cable and/or Public Television News)
Q9: “Sometimes we need a push to actually go out and vote or mail in our ballots. Please pick up to 5 media/methods that you feel most motivated you to get out and vote or mail in your ballot.”


Source: Dynata / Adults 18+ / N = 1037
Q7: “I find the problem with “fake news” to be most prevalent on...”

For more on the 2019 Voter Funnel Study contact Hadassa Gerber, EVP, Chief Research Officer, TVB, hadassa@tvb.org.

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