President Trump’s relationship with reality is such that he is psychologically incapable of acknowledging defeat of any kind. This applies to feuds with celebrities, denuclearization negotiations, and, as we’re seeing Wednesday, even elections, in which defeat is quantifiable and, one would think, inarguable.
Following the 2016 election, Trump famously and falsely claimed his popular vote defeat was due to illegal ballots. More recently, he tried to fashion a victory out of the 2019 gubernatorial election in Kentucky, bragging about the impact of his recent rally for Republican incumbent Matt Bevin, despite the fact that Bevin lost.
Though Bevin was defeated by Democratic challenger Andy Beshear in the only statewide race not won convincingly by a Republican, Trump on Wednesday morning retweeted plaudits from GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who praised Trump’s ability to ensure the incumbent Republican governor of the deep-red state didn’t lose in a landslide.
No one energizes our base like @realDonaldTrump.
In Kentucky, the governor was down 17 points.
President Trump helped lift the entire ticket, winning 5 of 6 statewide races so far!
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) November 6, 2019
Trump then touted the results himself, unconcerned that residents of the state that voted for him by a 30-point margin in 2016 handed its most powerful seat over to a Democrat. If Tuesday night’s election was any indication, Trump tweeted, Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader who has represented the Republican stronghold in Congress since 1985, stands a pretty good chance of winning another term in 2020.
Based on the Kentucky results, Mitch McConnell @senatemajldr will win BIG in Kentucky next year!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2019
McDaniel and Trump were only drafting off the praise doled out by Laura Ingraham, who ranted on Fox News about how the “power of Donald Trump” put a Republican comptroller in office in Kentucky while rolling her eyes at Democrats for celebrating “anytime a Republican governor goes down.”
Laura Ingraham's take on the Kentucky elections must be seen to be believed: "That is the power of Donald Trump… This is all very good news for Republicans." pic.twitter.com/EYbB9hp4FE
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) November 6, 2019
“This is all very good news for Republicans,” Ingraham insisted.
If Tuesday night’s results are upheld, Beshear is expected to be sworn in early next month.