DONALD TRUMP has suffered a blow after his party was ousted in a key election battleground — after earlier warning supporters that defeat would ‘send a really bad message’.
With presidential elections one year away, the Democrats claimed a narrow but significant victory in the race to be governor of Kentucky.
Andy Beshear successfully challenged incumbent Matt Bevin, defeating his Republican rival by just over 5,000 votes — a slender lead of 0.4 per cent — in Tuesday’s poll.
It comes after Mr Trump (pictured) visited the state on Monday for a rally in support of Mr Bevin, where he told the crowd: ‘If you lose [the governor’s seat] they are going to say “Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world”. You can’t let that happen to me.’
There was also bad news for the Republicans in the state of Virginia, where Democrats seized full control of the legislature for the first time in more than 20 years.
However, Republicans celebrated in Mississippi after Tate Reeves was elected governor, seeing off Democrat challenger Jim Hood.
The mixed results have been seen by commentators as a measure of Mr Trump’s popularity amid moves to impeach him by the Democrats.
His former communications director Anthony Scaramucci said the shadow of impeachment and the latest results were ‘very, very bad’.
Speaking to CNN, he said: ‘A moderate, functioning adult will beat president Trump next year.
‘I don’t think the president and his campaign team understand how much damage has been done since August in various swing states and in various public opinion polls.’