Bevin's appearances on conservative talk radio give glimpses at tested talking points ahead

10/21/2015 11:35 PM

Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin described this year’s campaign as a potential “bellwether” for next year’s election cycle on national conservative radio on Wednesday, wasting little time in pressing campaign talking points tested in a recent internal poll.

When Mark Levin, a former staffer under President Ronald Reagan and host of The Mark Levin Show, asked about Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, Bevin hemmed close to two messages that polled above 50 percent in a survey by GOP pollster Fabrizio, Lee and Associates that the campaign released on Friday.

Bevin’s appearance on the show, and a similar interview on The Glenn Beck Program on Tuesday, provides a glimpse of what voters will likely hear from the candidate as the Nov. 3 election nears.

Both interviews lasted about nine minutes.

“You hate to use cliché, but he is a rubber stamp for Barack Obama, voted for him twice,” Bevin said on The Mark Levin Show. “He is a strong liberal, a guy who served as a delegate at the Democrat(ic) National Convention, and now trying to flee from (Obama), which is what Democrats seem to be doing these days.”

“He is absolutely a rubber stamp for the Obama agenda, and it is the exact opposite of what we need,” Bevin continued in his response. “He’s a liberal attorney. He’s a career politician.”

Bevin has trailed Conway in public polling, most recently in a publicized internal survey of 500 likely voters that showed him down to the Democrat by 3 percent.

That’s within the poll’s margin of error, but Bevin’s campaign memo also included a pair of general statements that appear to be the basis of the candidate’s general talking points moving ahead.

In one, 53 percent of respondents said they would support a “Republican candidate who opposes Obama and his policies” over 39 percent who said they would back a “Democrat who is a rubber stamp for Obama and his policies.”

In the other, 53 percent of those polled said the state “needs a governor who is an outsider with business experience and not part of the Frankfort political establishment … who is a proven leader, but willing to step on some toes to fix Kentucky’s problems” versus 40 percent who believed “Kentucky needs a governor who is an attorney and part of the Frankfort political establishment. Someone who has the experience to with with the other political leaders to fix Kentucky’s problems.”

Bevin, who expressed his belief that his election would pave the way for a Republican takeover of the Democrat-led House in 2016, said later in the program that he is “hardly the chosen one” in Kentucky political circles.

“I make Republicans and Democrats alike equally nervous,” he said. “While I have the support of many and am grateful for that, I am not somebody who’s bought and sold by anybody.”

On Tuesday, it took Bevin fewer than 15 seconds to call Conway “a rubber stamp for Barack Obama” on The Glenn Beck Program, where he predicted he would win by 4 to 6 percent when the polls close on Nov. 3.

He also referenced the Republican Governors Association’s decision to resume television advertising against Conway to the tune of $1.6 million in the final two weeks of the campaign, which he said on Tuesday “bodes well for us.”

This year’s race for Kentucky’s next governor “is the only one that will be a bellwether for Medicaid expansion,” Bevin said on Glenn Beck’s radio show. “It’ll be a bellwether for school choice. It’ll be a bellwether for energy policy, and it will absolutely move the needle on discussion in 2016. This race is critical.”

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.

TWEETS ABOUT KENTUCKY POLITICS