Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is in serious trouble in his state, and it’s causing President Donald Trump and the Republican Party to freak out about 2020.
Bevin is up for re-election this year in a race that will be seen as a bellwether leading up to the presidential election in 2020.
With an approval rating in the very low 30s, Bevin is desperately seeking help from anyone he can get it from, including Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Vice-President Mike Pence has already visited the state, as have nine members of Trump’s Cabinet and his daughter Ivanka. Should Bevin lose in the red state, it will embolden Democrats who are already making a strong play for Midwestern states they lost in 2016.
According to Politico:
The governor’s plight has caused unease across the party. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who defeated Bevin in a bitter 2014 primary, has put aside the past rivalry and instructed his political team to be helpful to the governor in any way he wants. Aides to both men have been in touch.
The governor’s political standing is so precarious that he’s being forced to spend campaign funds more than six months before the election. Bevin on Thursday purchased about $500,000 worth of May commercial airtime.
“You want to be winning and not losing in red states ahead of your reelection bid,” GOP strategist Scott Jennings said. “I think having the president come and remind everyone what’s at stake is important.”
And Bevin only has himself to blame for his terrible re-election prospects. After all, he killed the state’s popular healthcare program, has attacked blue-collar workers’ pension plans, opposes vaccinations, and is at war with teachers across the state.
“The governor has a tough reelection, largely because he’s not a part of the political establishment and has ruffled feathers and gotten into fights in Frankfort,” GOP strategist Nick Everhart said.
Bevin is hoping Trump will help him win by campaigning with him, but Trump’s own approval rating in the state has dropped 18 points since he took office, and while Republicans held serve in House races in 2018, statewide races like the gubernatorial and presidential contests will be different.
Even McConnell’s approval rating in the state is underwater at just 33 percent while 56 percent disapprove and 61 percent think it’s time for him to go.
So, Trump could lose his top lackey in the US Senate, which makes Bevin’s race all the more important because it could be sign of things to come for Trump, who faces the prospect of facing any one of several Democrats, many of whom are currently leading against him in the polls, and losing his desperate bid to stay in the White House to avoid prosecution for his crimes.
If Bevin is defeated despite Trump’s all-out effort to help him, no Republican is safe, especially if that Republican has spent their time sucking up to Trump.
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