Last night America watched as one of it’s most unpopular Governors, Matt Bevin, faced a strong challenge from the Democratic Party. The final tally came down to a less than percentage-point loss for Bevin, with him only having 48.8% to Beshear’s 49.2%, just a 0.4% difference. Likewise, Bevin got 704,528 votes to Beshear’s 709,673 votes, a 5,145 vote difference. This race was “down to the wire”, as some would say. But, why did a ‘ruby red’ state like Kentucky go for a Democratic Governor? One in the time of the rise of Progressives in the party, who have clearly shown no care for “Coal Country”, or even the rural state itself. I hope to shed some light on some possibilities as to why, and hopefully to shatter some possible lies the Mainstream Media will no doubt spout in the face of this upset.
An Unfavorable Candidate
Bevin was starting out at a huge disadvantage here. According to Morning Consult, Bevin was seen with a 34% approval rating in his state which went for Donald Trump with a landslide margin in 2016. This extremely low favorability rating could be a foreshadow for what Trump could face in 2020, but I don’t think that’s true. I’ll get to that later though.
Bevin was seen as a jerk by many on the Left, and even some on the Right. Red Eagle Politics, a conservative poll analysis channel on YouTube, discussed reasons for Bevin’s loss last night during his livestream. REP said that Bevin was “kind of a ****” (I’m not willing to quote the profane parts of his statements). He also believed that Bevin wasn’t a populist, and was more seen as an establishment-like character, a Jeb Bush if you would. Then again, REP said the exact same for Tate Reaves, who won comfortably in Mississippi in the same night. This leads us to our second possibility.
Elections are decided by one thing on a state-level: Votes. It doesn’t matter how many Democratic friends you have; it only matters whether they actually cast a ballot for you in the end. In the election last night, Kentucky only saw a grand total of 1,442,622 votes: this was a decrease from the last known election in 2016. That showed Trump alone getting slightly over 1.2 million votes. When the total vote of your entire electorate is only 200k more than the total vote a candidate got 3 years earlier, you’re in trouble. “Well, Moon,” I hear you say, “He got elected overwhelmingly in 2015!” You’d be right. Bevin had a more-than-safe majority sweep in 2015, beating his candidate should with a 52-39 percent win. However, that was with an electorate that was more no-showy than the 2019 vote. In 2015, an estimate close to 1 million voters showed up to vote for Bevin, 400k LESS than this year’s election. In 2016, the total vote of the entire state approached nearly 2 million. This leaves one fault to our side. Either a), Republicans voted en mass for Beshear and showed little love for Bevin, b), Republicans were more interested in the Libertarian candidate, or c), the Republicans and possible Republican vote stayed home. This is a massive loss. We could have easily kept Bevin in, but no. No, instead over 600k possible voters just…stayed home. This can be used as a chief argument as to why the governors in other states lost, too. Virginia? Maybe it wasn’t a year for Republicans, or maybe it was.
One thing is clear: Clinton voters maxed out for Beshear. The total vote for Beshear roughly performed nearly 100k better than Clinton did in 2016. This shows us that it wasn’t hardline Democrats who stayed home-it was Republicans. If you live in Kentucky and didn’t vote last night, I don’t know what to tell you except that you need to vote in 2020. But again, that’s a different article entirely.
This is NOT a “Foreshadowing” of Things to come for Trump
One common lie the Mainstream Media will tell you is that last night showed a kind of forecast of what is to come in 2020. Virginia is going more blue, Mississippi and Kentucky were going to be hard-fought races, and New Jersey would do what New Jersey does. However, only two of these predictions came true. Kentucky was a hard-fought race, and Virginia went more blue. However, no Republican I know ever put Virginia into play as a possible state that would go red in 2020 (at least not in a serious prediction). Also, no Republican I know thought the governor’s race in KY would be easy pickings. I myself thought the race would be hard-fought, but Bevin would barely eek out a win. I was wrong on that last part. However, this race was not indicative of a rise in Trump hate-it was actually an indicator of lower voter turnout in off-election years like there has always been. The race in KY was not an outlier race-it was a small loss. Maybe KY needs a Democrat instead of Bevin? Who knows? All we can hope for now is that Beshear takes good care of his new state, and that he is willing to work with a Republican-dominated legislature. I can only hope the best for Beshear, and so can you.
Note: This article was done in honor of my now-deceased grandfather. My grandfather was very supportive when I started writing for this website a year ago, and I fully believe he would have wanted me to do an article on this election as I did last year on the midterms. This was done partially in interest on shedding light on the outcome in KY, and partially due to me wanting to do one more honorary article for him.
https://morningconsult.com/governor-rankings-q2-19 : This is the Governor’s page for favor/unfavorable ratings.
https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/ : This is the general link that will show you all the results of past Kentucky elections.
Photo courtesy of POLITICO.com.
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