The Trump White House is a chaotic place to be by all accounts – bogged down by Trump scandals that could take any number of them down – when cabinet members aren’t facing separate scandals of their own. 2020 is a headache that’s on all their minds, as well as on the GOP controlled Senate – but they may not have to wait that long for embarrassing news. The 2019 election season is already shaping up to be terrifying to Republicans for good reason.
You may wonder why the White House is particularly worried about Kentucky when there are other, bigger things in the immediate future, but this typically red state is setting off alarms for the Trump administration – so much so that Mike Pence has flown there twice to throw fundraising dinners for incumbent Governor Matt Bevin.
Trump carried Kentucky by 30 points back in 2016, and its Governor is not only a staunch Trump ally, he also tends to act like Donald Trump from time to time – regularly making outlandish statements, pushing work requirements for Medicaid recipients, attacking the press and blocking nearly 3,000 people on Twitter he disagreed with. He should be able to cruise to re-election, but he now holds the honor of being the least popular governor in America, with just a 33% approval rating.
Bevin doesn’t actually think the fundraisers are enough – as he’s been open about wanting Donald Trump to come out to Kentucky and campaign with him, according to Politico – and this is despite seeing how well that worked out for Republicans last year. Bevin is facing a strong challenge from the state’s attorney general, Andy Beshear, who has decided to make public education a centerpiece of his campaign – in response to the state’s recent teacher strikes. Mitch McConnell will also be facing an uphill battle for re-election in the state next year, whose approval ratings are also abysmal, and a Bevin loss could bode poorly for his already dim chances of re-election.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making