Trump’s allies downplay his failure to be a closer for Bevin
Conway parroted those talking points Wednesday during an appearance on Fox News. “It’s too close to call. I think they’re looking at the voter irregularities in some places,” she told the hosts of “Fox & Friends.”
Bevin trails his Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Andy Beshear, by roughly 5,000 votes with all precincts reporting, and Conway credited the tight nature of the race to Trump’s campaign rally Monday in Lexington on Bevin’s behalf.
“I think the president made this race competitive, as did the vice president,” Conway said, predicting Trump would “dominate the state again” in the 2020 election cycle.
“We’ll see what happens. Gov. Bevin is trailing by less than half a percentage point,” she added.
The White House and Republican operatives have sought to spin the disappointing showing by Bevin, regarded as perhaps the country’s most unpopular governor, as significantly bolstered by the president’s intervention in the race — even though public polling ahead of Election Day showed Bevin and Beshear locked in a single-digit contest.
“Our big Kentucky Rally on Monday night had a massive impact on all of the races. The increase in Governors race was at least 15 points, and maybe 20!” Trump wrote on Twitter early Wednesday morning.
“No one energizes our base like @realDonaldTrump,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote Tuesday night in a message retweeted by the president. “In Kentucky, the governor was down 17 points. President Trump helped lift the entire ticket, winning 5 of 6 statewide races so far!”
Although the Associated Press has declined to project a winner in the gubernatorial election, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes called the race in favor of Beshear, who has declared victory.