The current 5th congressional district is one of the few ancestrally Republican regions south of the Ohio River. Much of the region now in the district strongly supported the Union in the Civil War, and identified with the Republicans after hostilities ceased. Much of the eastern portion of the district was once part of the disbanded 7th congressional district, long a Democratic stronghold. The 7th district was disbanded in 1992 after the 1990 census showed that the state's population could no longer support seven districts. Geographically, the district consists of flat land areas to the west, to Appalachia highland mountains to the east and southeast. To the north to northeast of the district are rolling hills that end at the Ohio River.
The district is currently represented by Republican Harold D. "Hal" Rogers, the dean of the Kentucky delegation. Congressman Rogers currently serves in various top leadership positions in the U.S. house of representatives.
The 5th Kentucky congressional district has various state park systems and the Daniel Boone national forest area. Regional tourism is bountiful with Lakes for fishing and/or swimming, mountains for horse trail ridding, hiking, or four wheel riding. And cultural tourism is colorful with its cultural music of bluegrass and various instruments that are made to play the music. Natural resources are timber and coal. The coal mining industry has been a prized industry for the district. The district has private and public colleges and universities. The district is home to an national weather service "NWS" center located in Jackson, Kentucky. The district also has one public television station in Hazard, Kentucky of call letters WYMT, a CBS affiliate station. With various radio stations throughout the district. There are regional hospitals in the region. Major highways in the 5th congressional district are interstate 75, The Hal Rogers Parkway, The Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway, state highway 80, state highway 15, U.S. highway 23, U.S. highway 421.
Until January 1, 2006, Kentucky did not track party affiliation for registered voters who were neither Democratic nor Republican. The Kentucky voter registration card does not explicitly list anything other than Democratic Party, Republican Party, or Other, with the "Other" option having a blank line and no instructions on how to register as something else.