Yesterday, the people of Kentucky sent the Republican Party and our odious president a resounding message by voting out incumbent GOP Governor Matt Bevin and voting in Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear.
Trump shilled heavily for Bevin ahead of the election and begged voters not to let Beshear win because it would make him personally look bad. Unfortunately for the president, Beshear won with just over 5000 more votes, a thin margin that may seem unimpressive until one considers the fact that Trump won the state in 2016 by almost 30 points. Clearly, a lot of voters have soured on the MAGA movement.
Here’s Trump saying at his rally in Kentucky last night that Matt Bevin losing “sends a really bad message” and pleading with his fans, “you can’t let that happen to me!”
Welp, it happened. pic.twitter.com/LUHSUAgSnB
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 6, 2019
True to form for a member of a party that has increasingly embraced anti-democratic strategies though, soon to be ex-Governor Bevin is still refusing to concede the election. In fact, he appears to be considering a possible strategy to undermine Beshear’s clear victory.
While addressing a group of his supporters, Bevin alluded to “irregularities” in the voting but failed to offer any kind of details or proof, engaging in the kind of unfounded conspiracy-mongering we’ve come to expect from Trump.
“We know for a fact that there have been more than a few irregularities, they are very well corroborated, and that’s all right. What they are exactly, how many, which ones and what effect, if any, they have, will be determined according to law that’s well established,” said Bevin.
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 6, 2019
The White House is proving unable to grapple the reality that Bevin lost despite the president’s outspoken support. Trump himself is insisting that his endorsement helped Bevin mobilize voters while his right-hand woman and counselor Kellyanne Conway is parroting Bevin’s unfounded claims by telling reporters that she understands that his team is investigating “some irregularities in voting.”
These Republicans have such a profound disdain for the American voter that when they can’t win an election through voter suppression, gerrymandering, or the assistance of foreign interference they just refuse to admit that they lost. It’s both pathetic and deeply dangerous. They’re willing to undermine faith in our democracy for cheap partisan gain.
Kellyanne Conway reiterates Trump’s ridiculous spin that he made the Kentucky race “competitive.” She also echoes Bevin in unfounded claims of “irregularities.” It was a humiliating loss for the GOP in the deepest of red America. pic.twitter.com/lSW9oRb9co
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 6, 2019
With Bevin and Conway laying the groundwork rationale for their party to possibly contest this election, Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers (R) appears to be setting up a possible strategy to do just that.
“There’s less than one-half of 1%, as I understand, separating the governor and the attorney general. We will follow the letter of the law and what various processes determine,” said Stivers according to The Courier-Journal. He went on to say that the election results could end up being decided by the Kentucky state legislature which—you guessed it—is currently controlled by Republicans.
Regardless of how the GOP spins this defeat, they have to be growing worried about 2020. The American people are fed up with the Republican Party’s corruption and with a president who is both demonstrably incompetent and inarguably crooked. A massive blue wave is building and it’s up to all of us to do everything we can to ensure that it washes these far-right lunatics out of office.
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.