Kentucky is at this point considered a pretty reliable state for Trump, polls have shown him with a more than 20-point lead earlier this year, and this week a poll from Western Kentucky University had him up by 17 points, 54-37% (and Rand Paul, also expected to win easily in that same poll 55-39%). GOP Gov. Matt Bevin is comfortable enough with those numbers to openly brag that Trump is following his path to victory in Kentucky and will win on Tuesday.
In early October, Gov. Matt Bevin stood in the Capitol Rotunda, a few short steps from his office, and recorded a video because he had caught wind of a Democratic press conference that would call his record on education funding into question.
“They’re going to come in here and hypocritically lie to you about the focus of education and that of this administration for education,” Bevin said, staring unflinchingly at the camera.
Earlier, Attorney General Andy Beshear released a text that Bevin had sent him, calling Besear’s office “an embarrassment to the commonwealth.”
It was a wild day by Frankfort standards, but in the grand scheme of 2016, it was nothing out of the ordinary. For more than a year, the national press had been following another unorthodox politician vowing to shake up the system: Donald Trump.
“These guys are not in the system and they don’t care about what the political rules are about,” said Les Fugate, a Republican lobbyist and senior vice president of RunSwitch Public Relations. “They will forge their own path.”
For Bevin and Trump, that path has been similar in many ways.
Both were educated in the private school system before becoming wealthy businessmen. Both ran for office as political outsiders promising to disrupt the establishment and rallying the support of those who felt left behind by their government. Both overcame long odds in a vicious primary full of personal attacks to become the major nominee of their party.
Bevin was elected despite trailing in pre-election polls. Now, as the presidential race grows tighter in swing states, the question lingers: can Trump pull a Bevin-like upset on Tuesday?
“I think he’s going to win,” Bevin told WHAS radio in Louisville on Tuesday. “I think he’s losing in the same way I was supposedly losing a year ago at this time.”
The problem with Bevin's theory is that most American voters are smarter than the ones in Kentucky. I know that's not saying much, after all I live here and get to witness just what a populace that elected Matt Bevin is capable of in the first place, but if there's one state where it's totally cool to say that not only that you think Trump will win but is following your game plan, it's here.
Sadly, here in coal country, the growing economy isn't growing very much in the Appalachian counties, and there's a whole hell of a lot of "economic anxiety". The folks here blame the Clintons the way most people blame broken mirrors or black cats crossing their path. They have been taught to hate pretty effectively, and Clinton has about as much chance of winning here as I do breaking a four-minute mile running backwards.
Bevin thinks he's Trump before Trump was cool? Sure man, keep that up.