Chris Cillizza, Washington Post:
Matt Bevin, the Republican nominee in the Kentucky governor’s race, wasn’t a very good candidate. By all accounts, he was standoffish and ill at ease on the campaign trail, and inconsistent — to put it nicely — when it came to policy. The Republican Governors Association, frustrated with Bevin and his campaign, pulled its advertising from the state. Polling done in the runup to today’s vote showed Bevin trailing state Attorney General Jack Conway (D).
And yet, Bevin won going away on Tuesday night. How? Two words: Barack Obama.
Obama is deeply unpopular in Kentucky. He won under 38 percent of the vote in the Bluegrass State in 2012 after taking 41 percent in 2008. In the 2012 Democratic primary, “uncommitted” took 42 percent of the vote against the unchallenged Obama. One Republican close to the Kentucky gubernatorial race said that polling done in the final days put Obama’s unpopularity at 70 percent.