Accuracy in Media

Although the governor’s race in Kentucky is projected to fall to the Democrats, Republican incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin has not conceded the race. The race is very close, with about 5,000 votes separating Bevin from Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (D).

Yet CNN felt it appropriate to publish a headline that pinned the blame of Bevin’s alleged electoral loss on President Donald Trump. Trump rallied in Kentucky on behalf of Bevin leading up to this week’s election, and if Bevin loses the race, it will be another loss for a Trump-endorsed candidate.

During Trump’s first term as president, he has endorsed multiple candidates who have won elections, and others who have lost their elections. In other words, it is not a sure or guaranteed electoral victory when a candidate receives a Trump endorsement or hosts a rally with Trump.

Disregarding history and context, CNN’s headline read, “Is Kentucky a bad omen for Donald Trump?” But the text of the analysis appeared to be correct, noting that Bevin’s flagging popularity in Kentucky was likely to blame for his probable defeat. Also, CNN correctly pointed out that Bevin’s opponent, Andy Beshear, has significant name recognition in the state because his father was a Kentucky governor.

The analysis later outlined that Bevin did not have the personality that Trump has in rallying supporters to his cause, and that there was enough anti-Bevin backlash due to his policies to make the race as close as it was.

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