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.