On Tuesday in Kentucky, Attorney General Andy Beshear pulled off a major upset with a victory over Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, dealing a real blow to Donald Trump.
Democrats have successfully flipped both chambers of the Virginia state legislature, giving the party complete control of the commonwealth for the first time in several years.
Trump made every attempt to save the unpopular Bevin. He even campaigned for him in Lexington the night before the election. During his stop in Lexington, Trump told his supporters that a loss by the GOP governor would be portrayed as Trump having suffered “the greatest defeat in the history of the world.”
On Tuesday night, Bevin declined to concede citing unspecified “irregularities” in a speech to supporters. Beshear declared victory, In his speech he told his supporters that “my expectation is that he will honor the election that was held tonight.”
Kentucky law allows a candidate to request a recount but they have to cover the cost of the recount.
Turnout in Kentucky was much higher than expected with an estimated 1.4 million casting their votes. That number was up roughly 400,000 that the last governor’s contest in 2015.
The race was competitive from the start because Bevin is one of the least popular governors in the country. Bevin repeatedly attempted to nationalize the race and tie himself to Trump. He also attempted to link Beshear to “socialists in Washington who want to impeach Trump.”
“Talk to the average person. Ask the next 100 people who come in here if they care about this impeachment process, and they will tell you almost to a person that they do because they find it to be a charade,” Bevin stated on Tuesday. “We don’t appreciate when a handful of knuckleheads in Washington abdicate their responsibility as elected officials and try to gin up things that are not true because they can’t handle the fact that Hillary Clinton didn’t win.”
“The president just about dragged Gov. Matt Bevin across the finish line, helping him run stronger than expected in what turned into a very close race at the end,” Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale said.
Beshear is the son of Kentucky’s last Democratic governor Steve Beshear.
“This is not about who is in the White House,” Beshear stated on Tuesday before the polls closed. “It’s about what’s going on in your house. It’s about the fact a governor can’t affect federal policy but a governor can certainly impact public education, pensions, healthcare, and jobs — four issues that Matt Bevin has been wrong on and we’re going to do a lot of right.”