On Tuesday night, in an ominous sign for the GOP’s chances of holding a crucial governorship Gov. Matt Bevin (R-KY) only barely won re-nomination for the election that is scheduled to take place in November 2019.
His chief primary opponent was Robert Goforth, a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from the coal country region of the state. Despite being virtually unknown, Goforth held Bevin to a shockingly close margin. As of 8:00 pm ET, Bevin only leads Goforth by 10 points, 52 to 42, a testament to Bevin’s unpopularity.
According to recent polls, Bevin is the least popular governor in the United States, with even many Republicans desperate to be rid of him.
The first Republican governor to preside over unified control of the legislature, Bevin’s term has been marked with intraparty faction-fighting and controversies. Bevin has gone to war with Kentucky teachers over pay and benefits, and at one point accused striking teachers of empowering child molesters. He has also largely dismantled the state’s model ACA marketplace system, although his plan to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries is stalled in federal court and possibly dead.
The Democratic primary was a three-way race between state Attorney General Andy Beshear, state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, and former state auditor Adam Edelen. Beshear won the nomination, and will face off against Bevin in November.