Trump's Kentucky surprise

That's gotta hurt

President Trump.
(Image credit: Illustrated | OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images, Slim3D/iStock, mihmihmal/iStock, Aerial3/iStock)

Gov. Matt Bevin (R) lost his re-election race in Kentucky on Tuesday, much to the chagrin of President Trump, who won the state by roughly 30 points in 2016 and who had endorsed Bevin only reluctantly, on the eve of the election. Trump and Bevin appeared together in Lexington on Monday at a last-minute rally from which Bevin sought a much-needed boost from a constituency that probably doesn't exist in his home state: Democratic moderates who voted for the president in 2016.

Thank goodness Bevin’s opponent, Andy Beshear, is much cleverer than the CNN anchor who described his victory as a "Beto coup," referring to the avocado poop-dispensing skateboard enthusiast who has failed miserably in both of the elections he has participated in over the last two years. Unlike Beto, Beshear acually won on Tuesday, in large part because he performed better in the northern suburbs outside Cincinnati than his predecessor, Jack Conway, did four years ago. This could be a reflection of Trump’s unpopularity in major metropolitan areas; it could also be an indictment of Bevin’s right-wing economic views. Probably it is both. It does not help Bevin that the population of rural Kentucky is declining both proportionally and in absolute terms in relation to both cities and suburbs. Bevin’s attempt to undermine the Obama-era extension of Medicaid — with a costly and pointless work requirement that no one in particular seems interested in administering — is stalled in federal court and doesn't seem to have done him any favors.

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Matthew Walther

Matthew Walther is a national correspondent at The Week. His work has also appeared in First Things, The Spectator of London, The Catholic Herald, National Review, and other publications. He is currently writing a biography of the Rev. Montague Summers. He is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow.