Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) conceded the race for governor Thursday, ending more than a week of speculation over whether he would contest the results of the Nov. 5 election, which he narrowly lost to Andy Beshear (D), the Lexington Herald Leader reports.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told WFPL that it appears Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has lost his bid for reelection, even though Bevin still hasn’t conceded the race.
Said McConnell: “I’m sorry Matt came up short, but he had a good four years and I think all indications are — barring some dramatic reversal on recanvass — that we’ll have a different governor in three weeks.”
Daily Yonder: “There was a 22.5 percentage point difference in the Democratic vote between Louisville and the state’s most rural counties in 2015. This week, the gap was 29.6 points.”
“Conservative political activist Frank Simon, a longtime supporter of Gov. Matt Bevin (R), is sending robocalls asking Kentuckians to report suspicious activity or voter fraud to the State Board of Elections before Nov. 14 — the day of Bevin’s requested recanvass,” the Louisville Courier Journal reports.
Rick Hasen: “Will the Kentucky Legislature assist Matt Bevin in stealing the governor’s race from Democrat Andy Beshear, who appeared to have won Tuesday’s election by about 5,000 votes? Ordinarily, I would consider the possibility preposterous. We do not live in ordinary times, though, and on Wednesday Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers raised the prospect that his institution, not the voters, could determine the outcome of the race.”
“If Stivers and Republican Kentucky legislators were to make such a hardball move without good evidence that there were major problems with the vote count, the election would likely end up in federal court, where it is anyone’s guess what would happen.”
“We are always happy to split the vote in a way that causes delicious tears. Tonight there are plenty of delicious tears from Bevin supporters.”
— The Libertarian Party of Kentucky, in a statement, relishing the role of spoiler in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race.
David Frum: “Bevin’s personal behavior may have been extreme, but his policy priorities as governor were squarely in the GOP mainstream. Squeezing the ACA has been Trump policy, too. Nationwide, Medicaid and S-Chip enrollment has declined by 1.7 million over the past two years, a decline too big to be explained solely by improvements in the job market.”
“The central idea of the Trump candidacy and the Trump presidency has been that Trump’s abnormal behavior could win just enough votes from culturally conservative whites to overcome the unpopularity of the Republican agenda. Kentucky tested that proposition—and proved it false.”
First Read: “Another factoid that will make Democrats smile today: In each of the last four off-year gubernatorial elections in Kentucky, the party that won went on to win the presidential race nationwide one year later: Republican Ernie Fletcher won in 2003, Democrat Steve Beshear won in 2007 and again in 2011, and Republican Matt Bevin won in 2015.”
Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers (R) told reporters that a joint session of the Kentucky General Assembly — which is controlled by Republicans — may eventually decide the winner of last night’s close gubernatorial race, “citing a provision in the state constitution that hasn’t been used in 120 years,” the Louisville Courier Journal reports.
The state Constitution says “contested elections for governor and lieutenant governor shall be determined by both houses of the General Assembly, according to such regulations as may be established by law.”
Stivers said his staff believes that might apply in this case.
Jonathan Swan: “Senior officials at the White House and Republican Governors Association thought Bevin would win, but nobody who was studying the race closely felt overly confident about that outcome.”
“Bevin was telling people he would win — but throughout the campaign, sources in the Trump political orbit expressed concerns about the poor quality of Bevin’s operation and about his weaknesses in public opinion.
Said Larry Sabato: “When you’re a Republican running statewide in Kentucky, you have to try to lose. And Bevin tried for four years, and he succeeded.”
Andy Beshear (D) has defeated Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in the race for governor, the Cook Political Report projects.
President Trump last night: “You gotta vote because if you lose, it sends a really bad message. It just sends a bad and they’re going to build it up … You can’t let that happen to me.”
Lexington Herald Leader: “Only about three of every 10 registered voters in Kentucky will take time to vote Tuesday to elect Kentucky’s governor for the next four years, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said Wednesday.”
Politico: “Donald Trump is going all-in on a trio of Southern governor’s races in November, gambling that a clean sweep will help him regain his political footing at the most perilous moment of his presidency.”
“Trump is expected to barnstorm Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana over the next few weeks, while dispatching prominent supporters to help in each contest. And Vice President Mike Pence is planning a bus tour through eastern Kentucky, a pivotal area on the state’s political map that could decide the fate of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.”
“Trump badly needs a boost right now, and the White House sees the elections in the conservative states as the best near-term hope of achieving it.”
A new Mason-Dixon poll finds Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) and challenger Andy Beshear (D) tied in the gubernatorial race at 46% each.
“The White House is planning an 11th-hour push to stave off an embarrassing defeat for the Republican governor of Kentucky, with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence expected to make separate trips to the state in the runup to the Nov. 5 election,” Politico reports.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) “has shaken up his reelection campaign weeks ahead of the November vote, a potentially ominous sign for the Republican incumbent,” Politico reports.
“The shakeup comes as Bevin tries to survive a competitive reelection battle against state Attorney General Andy Beshear, the Democratic nominee. Public polling is limited, though past survey data has shown Bevin to be one of the most unpopular governors in the country.”
An internal poll from the campaign of Andy Beshear (D) shows the Democratic challenger leading Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) by 9 percentage points in the race for governor, 48% to 39%, with a little over two months until the election, the Louisville Courier Journal reports.
The results closely resemble an internal poll conducted by the Democratic Attorneys General Association a week earlier, which found Beshear leading Bevin by the exact same margin.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) defeated challenger Robert Goforth (R) in May’s Republican gubernatorial primary, 52% to 39%.
But a new video suggests the two men haven’t found party unity in advance of the general election.