Now that the election filing deadline has passed, it's time to dive into what promises to be an extraordinary election season in Kentucky.
Of course, the top race on the Kentucky ballot also sits atop the national political radar, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defends his seat against Republican and Democratic competition.
To help cover this extraordinary campaign season for you, the Herald-Leader is excited to be taking part in a new media partnership, the likes of which Kentucky hasn't seen before.
In the past, when big election years rolled around, the Herald-Leader would join for limited public opinion polling with our longtime Lexington television partner, WKYT.
This year, for the first time, four of the state's media powerhouses are joining forces to conduct statewide polling that will provide deeper and more consistent insights into the 2014 campaign. The Herald-Leader and WKYT in Lexington will be joining with The Courier-Journal and WHAS television in Louisville.
The partnership will carry the name of The Courier-Journal's long-running and respected Bluegrass Poll. The polling will be carried out by SurveyUSA, which has conducted the Bluegrass Poll in the past.
Although these media organizations normally compete against each other in covering a big story like the 2014 campaign, in this case pooling resources and collaborating will allow all of us to deliver better information and analysis to you, our readers and viewers.
Among other things, this partnership will allow us to poll voters about key races and key issues six times over the course of the year. This approach will provide a better view of what's on the minds of Kentucky voters as the campaign unfolds in coming months, rather than an isolated snapshot at a given point in the race.
The first poll will be released later this week, with a second installment just before the May 20 primary. We'll resume polling in time for the annual Fancy Farm kickoff to the fall campaign season and provide monthly looks into the race up to the Nov. 4 election.
It's important to note that in this polling, and in our collective reporting, we will strive to look beyond the campaign horse race. We'll also be asking about and reporting on key issues that are top-of-mind for voters throughout the state.
And we'll be looking for other ways to serve Kentucky voters through collaboration in the coming months.
Thanks for reading. I invite your feedback about this unique partnership, and welcome your thoughts about how we can keep you better informed during this extraordinary campaign season.
Herald-Leader Editor Peter Baniak can be reached at (859) 231-3446. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter:@pbaniak.