Kentucky's GOP governor could lose — and the White House is panicking


Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is the least popular governor in the entire country, and Republicans are worried he could lose his seat.

By all measures, Kentucky should be a safe place for a Republican governor to run for reelection: It's a solidly red state that Trump carried by a 30-point margin in 2016.

Yet GOP Gov. Matt Bevin is the least popular governor in the entire country. And Republicans — including those close to Trump — are terrified Bevin could lose in November and cause embarrassment to both the party and the White House, according to Politico.

In order to try and fend off a loss, Vice President Mike Pence recently held a fundraiser for Bevin in the state, and will headline another fundraising dinner Friday night, Politico reported. Bevin is also set to air television ads beginning on Saturday that prominently feature Trump to try and boost Bevin's standing.

Bevin is also begging Trump to campaign with him in the state, according to Politico.

If a Trump ally in a state Trump handily won in 2016 loses re-election, it could show vulnerabilities for Trump as well as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is also up for reelection in the state in 2020.

Bevin's approval rating in the Bluegrass State stands at an abysmal 33 percent, according to a recent survey by Morning Consult.

And Bevin can thank his cringe-worthy and offensive comments for that distinction.

Lat April, when teachers in the state were striking over changes to their pension plan, Bevin attacked those educators by accusing them of letting children be molested, poisoned, or even taking drugs while teachers were on the picket line.

"I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them," Bevin said at the time.

Bevin never apologized.

Earlier this year, when Kentucky closed schools because temperatures reached a dangerous low of 15 degrees below zero, Bevin accused the country of "getting soft."

"[I]t does concern me a little bit that in America — on this and any number of other fronts — we're sending messages to our young people that if life is hard, you can curl up in the fetal position somewhere in a warm place and just wait until it stops being hard," Bevin said.

Bevin has also instituted other unpopular programs, including work requirements for Medicaid recipients — despite the fact that many Medicaid recipients don't work because of how sick they are.

"The intent is not to save money," Bevin said of the work requirements. "The intent is to get people engaged in their own health outcome, because what we've seen for 50-some-odd years of these programs, Medicaid, we are not helping people's health become better. We're not. Especially for those who are able-bodied."

It's unclear how working would make people less sick.

Bevin's unpopularity has brought criticism on his social media accounts. And his reaction to that criticism has been to block nearly 3,000 people to avoid having to get his feeling's hurt — something he's currently being sued over.

Ultimately, a Republican should not be struggling so much in a state like Kentucky.

But Bevin is. And the outcome of his race could portend ominous results for Republicans in 2020.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.