Mr Trump supported Mr Bevin’s campaign for governor, hosting a campaign rally the night before the election.
At the rally, the president encouraged his supporters to get out and vote saying: “If you lose it sends a really bad message.”
But as Mr Bevin’s defeat loomed, Mr Trump sought to explain how his candidate could lose, tweeting:
#ElectionNight Won 5 out of 6 elections in Kentucky, including 5 great candidates that I spoke for and introduced last night. @MattBevin picked up at least 15 points in last days, but perhaps not enough (Fake News will blame Trump!). Winning in Mississippi Governor race!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)November 6, 2019
This narrative was echoed by others in the Republican party, including its chairwoman:
No one energizes our base like @realDonaldTrump.
In Kentucky, the governor was down 17 points.
President Trump helped lift the entire ticket, winning 5 of 6 statewide races so far!— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman)November 6, 2019
The only poll that seems to show Mr Bevin down by more than 15 points in the lead up to the election is one conducted by a company called Targoz Market Research, which showed Mr Beshear winning by 17 points in one survey and 19 points in another.
Polling throughout the race showed that it was a much tighter contest than Mr Trump and his allies have suggested. Other polls conducted earlier in the race showed the candidates to be even or Mr Beshear winning by a smaller margin, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Mr Bevin repeatedly referenced his support for the president while Mr Beshear, the son of Kentucky’s former governor Steve Beshear, focused his campaign on local issues such as healthcare and education.
Kentucky is considered a reliably Republican state. Mr Trump won it by 62.5 percent of the vote in the 2016 presidential election.
Mr Bashear won the governor’s election with 49.2 percent of the vote, according to the New York Times.