GOP incumbent Matt Bevin conceded defeat more than a week after he lost to Democrat Andy Beshear in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race.
Bevin said at a news conference on Thursday at the state capitol in Frankfort that he wanted to do “what is best for Kentucky.”
He wished his successor well.
His loss will be seen as an indirect loss, of course, for President Donald Trump — who campaigned heavily for Bevin.
There are those who will say it will hurt the president in November 2020 in the state.
And the Dems and the media will make much of that perception.
See this tweet about the news on Thursday:
BREAKING: Republican Gov. Matt Bevin says he won’t contest results showing Democratic opponent winning Kentucky governor’s race. https://t.co/bg4Asw24We
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 14, 2019
But on closer examination, that analysis can be seen as flawed for several reasons.
Here are four reasons that reasoning is flawed.
1.) Bevin was his own worst enemy. It was not so much his actions, as Kentucky is a conservative state — but his tone that alienated enough of his own base to lose the race.
Bevin especially lost support with suburban female voters because he picked fights that, due to his harsh demeanor, seemed arbitrary and reckless.
Among his targets were state pension programs and public school teachers, both with significant support in the state.
2.) Others on the state GOP ticket ran tens of thousands of votes above Bevin and won their races. That includes GOP rising star and Kentucky’s first black attorney general, Daniel Cameron, who won with 70,000 votes and 57.8 percent.
That is a better gage of the president’s popularity and the strength of the GOP base than is Bevin’s election result.
President Donald Trump also fought hard for Cameron.
3.) Trump was obviously not on the ballot — and the presidential race is almost a year away. But the president won the state by 30 points in 2016 and there is no discernible reason he should lose it in 2020.
However, the Beshear win could act as a mirage of a victory to a gullible Democrat nominee.
That individual could put much time and money there, much like Hillary Clinton did in Arizona in 2016 — and still have no chance of winning.
4.) If Trump is impeached and acquitted in the Senate — the current probable scenario — his base will be hopping mad. And Trump turnout in deep red states like Kentucky will go through the roof.
Nevertheless, the message for the Trump campaign is clear: Moderate your tone on certain issues, or risk losing the so-called suburban female “kindergarten teacher” vote.
The recent label is the latest version of the “soccer mom” vote sought by so many candidates of both parties for decades.
This group is economically conservative, though culturally it inhabits the wide middle ground.
These voters reject invective and prefer at least the pretense of civility.
They may be waiting a long time for it in 2020.
The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of LifeZette.