Kentucky's governor election could serve as preview of West Virginia race

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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WDTV) -- West Virginia's governor may be paying close attention to the failed re-election bid for a governor in his neighboring state.

West Virginia's governor may be paying close attention to the failed re-election bid for a governor in his neighboring state.

Democrat Andy Beshear declared victory over Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin Tuesday night.

Beshear edged out the governor by a margin of less than 1%, prompting a request by his campaign for a recanvass.

"This is a close, close race," Bevin said on Tuesday. "We are not conceding this race by any stretch."

The Republican incumbent faced an uphill battle in the months leading up to the election, with unfavorable poll numbers and a lack of strong support from within his own party.

The most recent poll conducted by Morning Consult showed Bevin is the least popular governor in the country. He held only a 34% approval rating.

President Trump campaigned for Bevin in Lexington on the eve of the election.

“If you lose this will be a bad message," Trump told the crows. "You can't let that happen to me."

Even with the president’s support and the rest of the major races in his state going red, the odds are against Bevin to win another term.

Next door in West Virginia resides the second- least popular Republican governor in the country.

Like his red state neighbor, Governor Jim Justice has had support from President Trump on several occasions and could be in a similar position to Bevin this time next year.

That's if Justice can win what’s shaping up to be a contentious and competitive primary process.

That same Morning Consult poll slates Justice at only a 42% approval rating.

If he would win the nomination, Justice would have the benefit of being on the same ballot as President Trump in 2020. That's something Bevin lacked in his off-year election.

Only time will tell if the race next door will serve as a warning or lesson for West Virginia's incumbent.

The 2020 primary election in West Virginia is six months away. The general election is set for Tuesday, November 3 2020.