Election 2019

Matt Bevin is Gone

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Although last-minute polls had Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) leading his opponent Andy Beshear (D) by five points, Beshear pulled ahead and narrowly defeated Bevin yesterday evening.

Trump swooped into Kentucky on the day before the election in an effort to get Bevin over the hump, but that evidently did not help him.

In Kentucky, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, whose father, Steve, was the state’s last Democratic governor, scored a narrow victory over Governor Matt Bevin despite an election-eve rally headlined by Trump.

In a speech in Lexington, Kentucky, on Monday night, Trump - who won Kentucky by 30 percentage points in 2016 - told voters that they needed to re-elect Bevin, or else pundits would say the president “suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world.”

I'm not going to say Trump just suffered the "great defeat in history," or whatever, because it isn't, but I will say this tells me Republicans in statewide offices are going to need more than Trump's blessing in 2020.

In some cases, letting Trump drop in to claim the election as his own like he did in Kentucky may actually hurt more than it helps.

With that said, Matt Bevin gave voters more than plenty of reasons to dislike him long before Trump showed up. Bevin led the charge to impose new work requirements on Medicaid, tried to cut teacher pensions, imposed new restrictions on abortion, and his campaign featured anti-transgender ads that claimed Beshear would kill girls' sports by letting transgender girls compete in them.

Matt Bevin was easily one of the worst governors in the country -- if not the absolute worst -- and if he were anyone else he probably would have won last night.

Kentucky is not and never will be a purple state, but the state is no stranger to electing Democratic governors. Bevin was the anomaly.

  • muselet

    Matt Bevin was a TPer without the sense God gave a cabbage, and who spent the campaign humping Donald Trump’s leg. Kentucky is well rid of him.

    The Righty spin on Bevin’s defeat is that unspecified “polls” showed Bevin down by double digits before Trump swooped in and single-handedly made the race neck-and-neck. Laura Ingraham is the first I know to have made that (absurd) argument, and Trump likes the codswallop so much he can hardly shut up about it.

    There aren’t a lot of lessons we normies can take away from the Kentucky’s gubernatorial election apart from “the good guys won one.”

    –alopecia

  • gescove

    Bevin was wildly unpopular. But he also wound himself tight around Trump. He and Trump both sought to make his re-election a referendum on the Trump presidency. They succeeded. Then the good people of Kentucky told them both to get bent. Sweet.

    • stacib23

      Have you seen what Bevin and the Republicans are doing now? They think they can just take the election using some legislative hocus pocus.

      I fear the depths that Republicans will sink to isn’t even close to being reached yet.

      • muselet

        Peak Wingnut is a myth and the barrel has no bottom.

        –alopecia