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Republicans are lying about Trump’s impact on the Kentucky governor’s loss

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Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel insisted that President Donald Trump’s visit to Kentucky helped the state’s GOP governor — who appears to have lost his re-election bid — but that’s not what really happened.

The president appeared in Lexington with Gov. Matt Bevin and both of Kentucky’s senators for a rally the night before Tuesday’s election, but he was the only Republican candidate to lose a statewide race in bright-red Kentucky, reported the New York Times.

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“No one energizes our base like @realDonaldTrump,” McDaniel tweeted late Tuesday, after media outlets began calling the race for Bevin’s opponent, Democrat Andy Beshear.

The RNC chairwoman claimed the president helped Bevin close a 17-point deficit that wasn’t measured on any recent polls.

Polls conducted in recent weeks by the GOP, along with public surveys and campaign polling, showed the race was close — and indeed, Bevin still hasn’t conceded a race he’s losing by just a few thousand votes statewide.

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Bevin is seeking a recanvassing of absentee ballots, and the Republican-majority legislature may try to decide what they see as a “contested” election themselves.

The RNC defended McDaniel’s hype, saying internal polling showed Bevin down 15 points in May, when Trump endorsed the governor, and pointed to a mid-October poll by Targoz Market Research as the source for the 17-point margin her tweet referenced.

But neither the RNC or McDaniel noted that polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight had designated that pollster as “below average” in reliability.

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Most public polls showed the Kentucky race within single digits, and none of them showed anything like that 17-point spread.

Republican polling, which McDaniel has access to, also showed the race as close or dead even heading into the final stretch.

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Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said the president was spinning the loss in the wrong direction.

“The president should be cognizant that there is an advantage to a Matt Bevin losing or in losing the House of Representatives,” Nunberg told the Times. “It creates voter intensity for him. The president always looks to spin a loss, as opposed to a politician who tries to play an advantage off of a loss.”


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