Donald Trump would probably not have risked coming to support the outgoing Kentucky governor, Matt Bevin, the day before the election, if he had not thought that the latter could win. " If the Democrats win, they will say that this is the worst defeat of all time. You can not do that to me He had declared to his troops. Against all odds, Democratic nominee Andy Beshear, son of a former governor, claimed victory Tuesday, November 5 in the evening, after a tally so tight that the Associated Press (AP), the traditional arbitrator of the US elections, declined to decide. The outgoing governor, who might request a recount, did not admit his defeat.
This elbow-to-elbow, whatever the outcome, is bad news for the Grand Old Party and for the power of mobilization of the president. The Republicans have tried to relativize the scope of the underperformance by recalling that Matt Bevin was a very unpopular governor and that other conservative candidates to other positions in the state earned Tuesday much better results. Four years earlier, however, Matt Bevin had won with a comfortable ten-point margin and Donald had moved ahead of Hillary Clinton's thirty points in Kentucky in 2016.
Two cases can explain this turnaround: health and education, topics generally more favorable to the Democrats. Matt Bevin defended a controversial social protection reform that in some cases linked these benefits to evidence of activity. He also ran into teachers in his state, complaining that they went on strike during the school year and not during the summer holidays. His opponent took advantage of the controversies to amplify the shift of peri-urban areas that have already secured the Democratic victory in the House of Representatives of Congress in the mid-term elections in November.
Republicans lose Virginia
If the Republican Party seemed on track Tuesday night to keep the governorship also in play in his southern stronghold of Mississippi, he suffered another defeat in Virginia. The House and the Senate swung into the Democratic camp for the first time in a generation. In this state too, the concrete subjects were decisive. " We won because we campaigned as moderate progressives to solve problems, while Republicans appeared as ideologues CNN commented on Senator Tim Caine, a former vice-presidential candidate in 2016. And again, the evolution of peri-urban areas has favored the Democrats, who now have a free hand.