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Opinion The Kentucky Governor’s Race Is a Warning to Republicans

17:05  06 november  2019
17:05  06 november  2019 Source:   theatlantic.com

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  Trump congratulates Mississippi's Reeves on election night win President Trump on Tuesday congratulated Republican Tate Reeves on being elected governor of Mississippi, adding that a recent campaign rally and endorsement from the commander-in-chief helped push the GOP-candidate to victory in the state. © ASSOCIATED PRESS Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, right, and his wife Elee Reeves, gets ready to vote in Flowood, Miss.,Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. Reeves, the Republican nominee for governor is in one of the state's most hotly contested governor's race since 2003. Voters will also select six other statewide officials and decide on a host of legislative and local offices. (AP Photo/Rogelio V.

In Kentucky , Democratic challenger Andy Beshear declared victory in the governor ' s race over Republican incumbent Matt Bevin, though Bevin A year before the presidential election, the results offered warning signs for both parties. Voters in suburban swaths of Kentucky and Virginia sided

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The governors ’ races in Kentucky and Mississippi that will be decided on Tuesday have been closer than expected. They have also, like so many things, become largely about President Trump, who has directly injected himself in support of his fellow Republican candidates.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Donald Trump, Matt Bevin are posing for a picture: Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin with Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Lexington, Kentucky© Timothy D. Easley / AP Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin with Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Lexington, Kentucky

Donald Trump wants his party to believe that he was the hero of the campaign in Kentucky, who almost—but not quite—rescued a deeply unpopular governor from defeat.

But to understand why November 2019 is so ominous for Republicans, you need to understand why Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin was so unpopular in the first place.

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Republican Matt Bevin refuses to concede, while Democrats take state legislature in Virginia.

In Kentucky , Democratic challenger Andy Beshear held a narrow lead and declared victory in the governor ’ s race over Republican incumbent Matt A year before the presidential election, the results offered warning signs for both parties. Voters in suburban swaths of Kentucky and Virginia sided

Yes, Bevin is a loud-mouthed jerk who made ridiculous statements. For example, the governor and his challenger, Andy Beshear, got into a tussle over whether to allow casino gambling in Kentucky. Bevin opposed it. In the course of opposing casinos, Bevin claimed that suicides occurred “every night” in casinos. When challenged on the statement, Bevin denied ever having made it—and challenged his opponent to produce any recording having said such a thing. Boom: The audio was produced in the final week of the campaign.

Yes, Bevin got himself into a contentious debate over teacher pensions that alienated not only teachers, but education-minded suburban voters. Yes, he faced a strong opponent, a moderate-minded heir of a prominent political family. (Andy Beshear's father served two terms as governor of Kentucky a decade ago.)

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  For the GOP, the suburbs are the new Florida (Opinion) Alice Stewart writes that Tuesday's elections proved to be a good night for Democrats, a bad night for an unpopular governor, and a teachable moment for President Trump and the Republican Party. Key races in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Virginia tested the political landscape one year out from the 2020 presidential election. Yet, before anyone labels this as a referendum on President Trump, remember, he was not on the ballot, and Democrats were on a mission to make inroads in suburbia. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Matt Bevin, a Republican political novice, wealthy Louisville businessman and Tea Party favorite, was elected Kentucky ’ s next governor on Tuesday and swept fellow Republicans into statewide office with him.

Democrat Andy Beshear has won the Kentucky governor ’ s race , ousting sitting Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, and giving Democrats a big win in a conservative state. Kentucky has had a strong history with Democratic governors (one Beshear is actually a part of; his father Steve Beshear was a

[Read more: Kentucky is home to the greatest declines in life expectancy]

Those behaviors may have contributed to the collapse of Republican support in Kentucky's urban areas and more affluent suburbs, like Boone County and Kenton County, on the Kentucky side of the Ohio river across from Cincinnati. Trump carried both in 2016, but this time surging turnout tipped both counties blue. Thirty percent of adults in Kenton over the age of 25 have college degrees, as do 31.5 percent of those in Boone County.

But the true fire bell in the night for Trump and his party comes from a different direction, from the slump in Republican voting in southeastern Kentucky, formerly coal country.

What happened there?

No state saw a more dramatic improvement in its health-care insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act than Kentucky. And no part of Kentucky benefited more than the southeast from the ACA. I wrote here in The Atlantic in 2017:

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Kentucky governor ’ s race too close to call. If he wins the governor ’ s race , he’ll have to face off against a legislature that ’s dominated by Republicans : the GOP has supermajorities in both chambers. A Warning , by an anonymous senior official who wrote about ‘the Resistance’ last year

The Kentucky contest is one of three governor ’ s races Mr. Trump is seeking to influence. He opened his remarks with a warning against what he called creeping “socialism” and asked whether Mr. Trump was also joined onstage by Kentucky ’s two Republican Senators, Rand Paul and Mitch

Paul won 76.6 percent of the vote in Clay County, where 15.6 percent of the total population has gained coverage via the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. He won 81.5 percent of the vote in Jackson County, where 15.1 percent owe their Medicaid to the ACA. He won 84 percent in Leslie County, where 18 percent would lose Medicaid if Obamacare were repealed.

As the benefits flowed, Kentuckians—once staunchly opposed to Obamacare—came rather to appreciate the Affordable Care Act. By 2018, a plurality of Kentuckians—44 percent—approved of the ACA. Matt Bevin made it his top priority as governor to shred the ACA in Kentucky. He shifted 31,000 people off Medicaid and S-Chip, the state children’s health insurance plan. He added work requirements for Medicaid, and other practical barriers to coverage.

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.

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  Tight Kentucky Race Sparks Fight Incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican who ran for re-election as a staunch ally of President Trump, said he wouldn’t concede the race to Democrat Andy Beshear, who claimed victory with a narrow lead.The next steps are still to be determined following the narrow outcome — one of three governors’ races Tuesday seen as a test of voter sentiment ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The governors ’ races in Kentucky and Mississippi that will be decided on Tuesday have been closer than expected. They have also, like so many things, become largely about President Trump, who has directly injected himself in support of his fellow Republican candidates.

The Kentucky incumbent' s brash campaign style aligns closely with Trump' s . He often employs similar tactics, going as far as denying in debates things he' s It is Bevin' s low favorability ratings that make the race competitive." He said running toward Trump is " an attempt to capitalize on the president' s

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.

[Read more: When Matt Bevin tried to undo Obamacare]

Donald Trump carried Kentucky in 2016 by 30 points, almost 600,000 votes. Twenty-three percent of Kentuckians live in rural areas; more than 40 percent of households own firearms.  President Trump campaigned in Kentucky 24 hours before the vote, intensely personalizing the contest in a state where he thought himself popular. He claimed "radical Democrats are going totally insane” and charged that Democrats want to “destroy anyone who holds traditional American values.”

“You can’t let that happen to me!” Trump pleaded.

And none of that rescued Bevin from his own attack on Medicaid and the ACA.

Trump is even more unpopular in the suburbs of Atlanta and Charlotte than in the Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati. Even more people have lost Medicaid coverage under Trump in Indiana and Tennessee than in Kentucky.

Trump is a historically unpopular president, delivering a historically unpopular agenda. If that message failed in Kentucky, where will it succeed?

Bevin concedes defeat in Kentucky governor's race .
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has conceded defeat in last week's nail-biting election.Bevin had asked Kentucky's 120 counties to conduct a recanvass in the days after his narrow loss to Attorney General Andy Beshear (D). Beshear beat Bevin by just 5,189 votes, or about four-tenths of a percentage point, though Bevin brought up unsubstantiated allegations of voting irregularities.

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