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Kentucky Republican Chief Praises Caucus Outcome

Becca Schimmel, WKMS

The head of the Kentucky Republican Party is calling Saturday’s presidential caucus a “real success.” But turnout was only slightly higher at the caucus compared to the last GOP presidential primary.

Eighteen percent of registered Republicans voted in the presidential caucus, compared to 16 percent in the 2012 primary. While there were fears the caucus could go un-noticed, Kentucky GOP Executive Director Mike Biagi says he’s proud of the turnout.

"We've had great growth in the party and there's been historic engagement in this presidential election and we've provided this opportunity for voters to express themselves and their preference for president at a time when their vote really mattered in the race," he says.

One hundred of Kentucky’s 120 counties saw an increase in voter turnout from four years ago. While many counties reported long lines at their caucus sites, Biagi says the biggest challenge was the number of Democrats and Independents who showed up to vote and were turned away.

Biagi says the higher turnout reflects the growth in the state GOP. More than 229,000 of the state’s 1.2 million registered Republicans took part in the caucus that made Donald Trump Kentucky’s GOP presidential nominee. Whether or not Kentucky holds another caucus in the 2020 race will be up to party leaders.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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