Conservative pundits are downplaying the impact that the apparent defeat of Kentucky's Republican governor could have on President Donald Trump's re-election chances.
The night before Tuesday's election, the president campaigned in the Bluegrass State on behalf of Republican Governor Matt Bevin (pictured), who yesterday requested a recanvass of the vote count after finishing around 5,000 votes behind Democrat Andy Beshear. Beshear and the Democratic Party are declaring victory – and many in the mainstream media are reporting those results are a referendum on President Trump as the 2020 presidential campaign gets ready to go full-bore.
Kentucky native Gary Bauer of American Values isn't so sure about that, though. He suggests that one can take heart in seeing what happened in the other statewide races in Kentucky.
"When the president went into Lexington to do that rally, he not only rallied for the re-election of Governor Bevin, but he rallied for the election of a whole bunch of other statewide candidates [who] were very conservative – and all of those candidates won handily …," he tells OneNewsNow.
Rob Chambers is vice president of AFA Action, the political arm of the Mississippi-based American Family Association. Like Bauer, he doesn't think Bevin's defeat is a referendum on Trump.
"You have to look back at the Alabama race [a GOP primary runoff in September 2017] where President Trump endorsed Luther Strange who lost miserably," Chambers recalls.
"And so basically when the voters know the candidate full well and they have an opinion about that candidate – as they did in Alabama with Luther Strange and as they did in this case with Governor Bevin – this is more a referendum against Bevin. I don't think this has anything to do with the president."
See unofficial results of the Kentucky 2019 General Election