Dems oust Kentucky governor, seize Virginia

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on November 6, 2019 - Duration: 02:18s

Dems oust Kentucky governor, seize Virginia

U.S. Democrats claimed an upset win in Kentucky on Tuesday over a Republican governor backed by President Donald Trump and seized control of the state legislature in Virginia, where anti-Trump sentiment in the suburbs remained a potent force.

Ryan Brooks reports.

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Dems oust Kentucky governor, seize Virginia

U.S. Democrats scored upset victories in state elections Tuesday (November 6) Results that will be closely watched for clues to how next year's presidential race may play out.

One headline election was Kentucky, where a Trump-backed governor has lost.

Matt Bevin was defeated challenger Andy Beshear.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) KENTUCKY DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE ANDY BESHEAR, SAYING: "Tonight voters in Kentucky send a message loud and clear for everyone to hear.

It's a message that says our elections don't have to be about right versus left.

They are about right versus wrong," Beshear won despite the state's strong leanings toward the GOP, and a last minute rally headlined by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump won the state by 30 percentage points last year.

He'd told voters that if they didn't hand Bevin a victory, critics would say the president suffered the worst defeat quote "in the history of the world." (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT, DONALD J.

TRUMP, SAYING: "You can't let that happen to me!" While Bevin's defeat is a significant setback for Trump, the loss may have more to do with Bevin's unpopularity.

Opinion polls have showed him to be least popular governor nationwide.

Bevin refused to concede the race at a rally Tuesday night.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) KENTUCKY GOVERNOR MATT BEVIN, SAYING: "We know for a fact that there have been more than a few irregularities, they have been corroborated, and that's alright." Still - Andy Beshear's victory could boost the Democrats' hopes in the state of unseating Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senate Majority Leader.

McConnell is on the ballot himself next year.

And in another major GOP loss, Virginia Democrats took control of that state's House and Senate for the first time in 25 years.

They also hold the governorship, which gives them complete control of Virginia.

They pulled off the victory despite big spending by both parties and big names, including visits from Vice President Pence and 2020 contender Joe Biden last week.

The win opens the door for new, tighter gun control laws in Virginia, and other measures Republican lawmakers have blocked for years.

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