Bevin begins first full day as governor-elect, while Dems look t - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bevin begins first full day as governor-elect, while Dems look to hold on to State House

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Matt Bevin's sweeping victory in the governor's race led the way for a big Republican win Election Night, and a change to the landscape of Kentucky politics.

This election map reveals that Kentucky is now a sea of red.

There are just a few pockets of blue, including Jefferson County.

Bevin won all but 14 of the state's 120 counties.

It was a smashing victory for Bevin and the Republican Party, sweeping four of the six statewide offices.

“As Sam Youngman wrote in the Lexington Herald Leader, Kentucky's no longer a purple state. It's now a bona fide red state,” said WDRB political columnist John David Dyche.

[DYCHE | THE BEVIN ERA BEGINS]

Analysts say several factors played into Bevin's landslide win, and it begins with Democrat Jack Conway himself.

“He didn't have a personal appeal. He didn't ever establish any enthusiastic, grass roots base,” said Republican consultant Ted Jackson.

Add to that the continuing unpopularity in Kentucky of President Obama and his policies.

“You had to come out with something different to stand for, and I don't think as a Democratic Party we did that,” said consultant Bob Gunnell.

Also a factor was the Kim Davis controversy, and the debate over same-sex marriage. It motivated Bevin's supporters.

“So, you were able to identify these pockets of people that couldn't wait to vote for Matt,” said Jackson.

And Bevin's message of change resonated with voters.

“People want to step up and chart a news course, and this what we've done,” Bevin told reporters Tuesday night.

“People were tired of rubber-stamp government. They wanted a new and fresh approach,” said Gunnell.

The next challenge for Democrats is to try to hold on to their 8-seat majority in the state House.

“The Democrats are desperate, and they're despairing,” said Dyche.

In fact, observers say they'll not be surprised to see some conservative Democrats switch parties.

“I think there are people in the state House now that are ready to flip, to become Republican,” said Jackson.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Attorney General-elect Andy Beshear were the only bright spots for Democrats.

They and House Speaker Greg Stumbo will lead the opposition to the new governor's agenda.

Beshear struck a conciliatory tone on Tuesday night.

“As long as everybody acts within the bounds of the law, then hopefully, we can do good things together,” Beshear told WDRB.

“I'm not sure it was a total mandate for all of his policies. What it is a mandate for, is to do things different in Kentucky,” said Gunnell.

Bevin has just 5 weeks to put together a new Republican administration.

The Governor-elect did not do interviews on Wednesday.

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