The 2019 governor's race that has Trump's team sweating

Vice President Mike Pence, who recently flew to Lexington to raise money for the governor, is scheduled to headline a gala dinner hosted by Bevin on Friday evening. On Saturday, Bevin will air his first TV ad during the Kentucky Derby — expected to be a Trump-themed spot packed with footage of the president…

The Trump team has watched with growing concern as Bevin’s approval ratings have plummeted to the low 30s. With the presidential campaign kicking into gear, the Kentucky governor’s race is likely to be the most closely-watched contest in the run-up to 2020, and Trump aides acknowledge alarm bells will go off if one of the president’s closest allies loses in a state that Trump won by nearly 30 percentage points.

“You want to be winning and not losing in red states ahead of your reelection bid,” said Scott Jennings, a Louisville-based Republican strategist who served as a top political aide in the George W. Bush White House. “I think having the president come and remind everyone what’s at stake is important.”