Some, including a local TV station and the election gurus at Ace of Spades HQ, called the race for Bevin when the tea party candidate, who entered the race just four months ago, won three of Kentucky's most populous counties.
But then Comer started coming back. Paul deleted his tweet when he realized the race was far from over. Politico's Steve Shepard urged caution.
Comer, a candidate who many had left for dead after damaging abuse accusations were revealed in the final weeks of the campaign, pulled out a miracle by gaining an unexpected amount of ground in the rural counties in Western Kentucky. The race narrowed. Ace of Spades issued a rare retraction.
COMER PASSES BEVIN. 99% in, he leads by 30 votes. 3. 0.— Steven Shepard (@POLITICO_Steve) May 20, 2015
This is nuts. Two counties outstanding and a 30 vote difference between Bevin and Comer.— Sam Youngman (@samyoungman) May 20, 2015
By 10 p.m., Bevin's lead was determined to be less than 100 votes, and AP wasn't calling the race for anyone. Comer took to the stage to tell his supporters he was going to ask for a re-canvassing of the results from each county. There are no runoff elections or automatic recounts in Kentucky, but a candidate can ask the secretary of state in writing to review the vote totals by county, according to the AP.
Bevin still apparently couldn't believe it.
Bevin tells supporters AP has called race for him. They have not.— Sam Youngman (@samyoungman) May 20, 2015
We'll have to wait another week for that recount to start. The winner will face off against Democrat Jack Conway, the state's attorney general who easily won his primary Tuesday. In the meantime, the two GOP candidates left in the four-way race couldn't resist taking shots at each other in what has become an incredibly nasty campaign.
From Estep, Comer said Bevin "was the beneficiary of a lot of this mischief that took place in the last two weeks of the campaign."— Sam Youngman (@samyoungman) May 20, 2015
There's more: Adding to the re-canvassing drama is the fact that Bevin burned a lot of bridges with state's Republican leader during his 2014 primary challenge to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Bevin refused to endorse McConnell after he lost, and McConnell has been coy about whether he'd help Bevin in the general election if he's the nominee.
Somewhere along last night's craziness, Bevin also apparently managed to insult McConnell's 2014 Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, who happens to be the current secretary of state — and in charge of this week's recount.
All part of a day's work in the saga that is the Kentucky governor's race.
What a night. Or as Matt Bevin accurately put it: "What a race!"— Sam Youngman (@samyoungman) May 20, 2015