Kentucky GOP nominee Matt Bevin
Well, this is absolutely nuts. With barely a month to go until Election Day, the Associated Press reports that the Republican Governors Association has stopped airing ads
on behalf of businessman Matt Bevin—who is, you know, the Republican nominee in what's supposed to be a hotly competitive race down in Kentucky.
Usually moves like this only come when a party committee is forced to triage a hopeless candidate in the midst of a big election cycle. But there's almost no way that's the case here: There are no other gubernatorial contests the RGA has to worry about this year, and what little polling we've publicly seen has netted out to a tossup between Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway, the state's attorney general.
Now, there's no arguing that Bevin's run a shit campaign. He's constantly alienated fellow Republicans, he's done no fundraising, he waited until just a week ago to even start airing TV ads, and a super PAC formed on his behalf has less money in the bank than Donald Trump's annual comb budget. But still, this is Kentucky. While Democrats have continued an unlikely string of success here in non-federal races, it's impossible to imagine that an open-seat contest for governor could simply fall out of reach for the GOP, no matter how lousy their candidate is.
So what on earth is going on here? Bevin, bizarrely, seems to think he has this one in the bag: Earlier this month, Bevin claimed he was already "vetting" new hires for his administration because, he told a group of business owners, "the odds are I'm going to be your next governor." No one else seems to agree.
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Could it simply be that the RGA despises Bevin so much that they're willing to shove him overboard—if only because they can't keel-haul him? Or are they maybe trying to instill the fear of the devil in him and force him to shape up (and self-fund) while there's still a little time left? Boy, it's awfully late to send your nominee to the Republican Humiliation Boot Camp.
But Bevin is an unusually fucked-up piece of work: On Sept. 25, he personally stopped in at Democratic Party headquarters in Frankfort to complain about a nearby billboard that reads, "You still can't trust Matt Bevin"—and, Democrats say, he even yelled at the receptionist. This is not made up. This is Matt Bevin. And maybe, just maybe, Republicans have had enough.