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Wed Nov 6, 2019, 11:00 PM

The Kentucky Governor's Race Was an Anomaly.

'The governor’s race was important, but national Democrats shouldn’t break out the bourbon.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — On Tuesday night, when it appeared Andy Beshear had opened an insurmountable but narrow lead over the incumbent Matt Bevin in the Kentucky governor’s race, my husband and I cracked open a bottle of bourbon and raised a glass in celebration. Pending the results of a likely recanvassing, it appears that our long, statewide nightmare may soon be over.

It has been four long, brutal years since November 2015, when Kentuckians elected Mr. Bevin by a narrow margin that, in retrospect, can be seen as a harbinger for the election of Donald Trump. Since then, Mr. Bevin has sought to strip away health care from hundreds of thousands of people statewide. Reproductive rights have been steadily eroded, until only one clinic is left to serve the entire state. Kentucky’s state-funded universities and colleges have suffered draconian budget cuts. Teachers’ pensions, already paid by them into the system, have been under constant threat.

Then there are his statements. Mr. Bevin has insulted women, people of color, L.G.B.T.Q. Kentuckians, the poor and most infamously, teachers protesting his pension cuts, accusing them of aiding in the sexual assault of children by their absences from the classroom.

Last night, as the votes trickled in, the Twitterverse and many national pundits had already begun to read the political tea leaves. Some proclaimed Mr. Beshear’s apparent victory as a warning for Senator Mitch McConnell, who is up for re-election in 2020, and even for President Trump. “Mitch McConnell is in deep trouble in 2020,” Matthew Dowd tweeted.

But here on the ground, the situation feels different. Perhaps it is the remaining trauma from what happened nationwide in 2016. Or maybe it stems from being disappointed by Kentucky voters so many times before. Embedded in my scar tissue is this fear: that while relief is the prevailing mood on the morning after, in reality Mr. Beshear’s win is likely to be an anomaly rather than an omen — a victory resulting from a perfect storm along the lines of Senator Doug Jones’s 2017 election in Alabama.

For starters, Mr. Bevin’s approval numbers have been in the basement for a while. His rollback of the state’s Medicaid expansion — instituted by former governor Steve Beshear, his predecessor and Andy Beshear’s father — and the addition of stringent work requirements proved unpalatable even to many of the state's conservatives. His twin political and verbal attacks on Kentucky teachers might have been fatal.

Despite Mr. Bevin’s best efforts to boost his re-election by tying himself to President Trump, this was a race that refused to be nationalized. It’s true that the president remains immensely popular here. But the prospect of Mr. Trump’s impeachment was not a factor among voters I encountered. . .

But to interpret this outcome as a sign of Mr. Trump’s and Mr. McConnell’s waning power in a Republican stronghold is shortsighted. One glance at the other statewide races tells the tale: As Mr. Trump himself tweeted Wednesday morning, all were won handily by Republicans. Mr. McConnell’s fabled political organization appears to remain intact. His protégé, Daniel Cameron, won the race for attorney general (replacing Andy Beshear) by a wide margin. Kentucky voters showed their disapproval by splitting the top of their tickets, making the governor’s election a referendum on Mr. Bevin alone.'>>>

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/06/opinion/beshear-kentucky-governor-election.html?

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2019, 11:02 PM

1. Trump couldn't save Bevin from his (Bevin's) own dickishness.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2019, 11:04 PM

2. So is MF 45's "election".

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2019, 11:06 PM

3. Agree. But, it's a good win (hopefully upheld). trump and GOPers are still a threat.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2019, 11:10 PM

4. Astute analysis, as usual...eom

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2019, 11:21 PM

5. I hear you and agree, Bevin was an anomaly, BUT your new Governor might be able to change that.

He has almost a year to convince Kentuckiens that the Dems just might be GOOD FOR THEM! If he can reverse all the bad things Bevin did as he promised during his campaign and push new popular ideas, even if the Pub legislature won't go along, he can promote new dem candidates to replace them. Lets all HOPE at least!

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:13 AM

6. Those Medicaid work requirements still haven't gotten out of the courts.

The Gov keeps trying, the notices go flying, and then they get shot down -- again. Among other things, it probably pisses the hell off the HCPs, who don't know from one month to the next what the law is finally gonna be. Not that I cry any tears over their discomfort.

-- Mal

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:33 AM

7. Multiple "anomalies" going on then (for example, flipping both houses in VA).

Put the bourbon down and look at the bigger picture! KY would never have slid out that asshole, if there wasn't a larger blue wave building. No, KY won't stop being a gooey Russiapublican mess in the forseeable future. But even they have their limits.

And out here in purple land, the light is looking bluer and brighter every day.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 12:34 PM

8. I believe the consensus is the Bevin lost because he was very, very unpopular.

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