Democrat claims victory as Kentucky governor's race remains tight

Matt Bevin, Kentucky's Trump-loving governor, loses to Democrat Andy Beshear in closely-watched race

Why Democrat state election gains should concern Trump

"There are some canaries in the coal mine right now and we in the party would do ourselves a favor by paying attention", said Jim Merrill, a Republican consultant based in New Hampshire, where Democrats also made significant gains in local races.

Others agreed, cautioning against drawing a connection between Bevin and Trump.

Bevin trailed Democratic challenger, Attorney General Andy Beshear by 4,000 votes in unofficial results. He refused to concede. But some fairly recent polls showed Bevin trailing Beshear by more than a dozen points.

Governor Matt Bevin signs autographs at a campaign rally at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, U.S., November 4, 2019.

In mid-October a Mason-Dixon Poll of 625 likely voters had the two candidates tied.

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With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Beshear had a lead of 4,658 votes out of more than 1.4 million counted, or a margin of 0.3 percentage points. The FiveThirtyEight political data analysis website rates the firm between a "C" and a "D" for the reliability of its predictions. "I'd guess 90% of his votes came from people who would have voted Republican but couldn't bring themselves to vote for [the outspoken and often caustic] Bevin".

"@MattBevin picked up at least 15 points in last days, but perhaps not enough (Fake News will blame Trump!)".

The president hosted a raucous rally Monday night, praising Beshear along with GOP candidates who won their races.

These swing voters tend to be moderate, and Trump still could win them back if he successfully paints his opponent as an extremist who doesn't reflect their values.

"If you lose, they will say Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world", the president said at that rally. "And I'll tell you what, we will be ready for that first day in office, and I look forward to it".

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The political concern for Republicans, Ayers said, is in the long run, given that Tuesday's results show "a reinforcement and even an acceleration" of what became clear in 2017 and 2018 elections: eroding GOP support among millennials and college-educated voters in America's suburbs. Check out the numbers, ' he added later.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, the incumbent hopes the governor will continue this positive "trajectory" and give his blessing.

'The President just about dragged Gov. Matt Bevin across the finish line, helping him run stronger than expected in what turned into a very close race at the end, ' he said. "As has been reported, a 'recanvassing has never changed the result of a Kentucky election", said Beshear/Coleman Campaign Manager Eric Hyers.

Parscale later said in a tweet that Beshear was competitive because he avoided criticizing the president.

Legislative seats also were on the ballot in New Jersey, with Democrats positioned to maintain their overwhelming majorities and quell any opportunity for Trump to suggest that the Republicans were encroaching on Democratic territory ahead of 2020.

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Kentucky Freedom Fund, a PAC affiliated with the Republican Attorneys General Association, spent the most of any group in the race on television ads, launching attacks on Stumbo's character, calling him a "despicable deadbeat" and referring to him as "Greg SCUMBO".

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