Election 2019

President Donald Trump is holding a rally in Lexington Monday night on the eve of Kentucky’s election for governor, in support for Republican incumbent Matt Bevin. By early afternoon in downtown Lexington, hundreds of Trump supporters were waiting in line to hear the president speak.

Wyoming resident Gale Roberts says he ended up at the front of the line after driving from Trump’s last rally in Mississippi on Friday.

“Oh, because I drove in the other night I drove hundreds of miles and I had nothing else to do, why not get here early and hang out,” he said.

The line kind of looks like something you’d wait in at Disneyland, with lots of twists and turns. There’s a communal vibe to the front: everyone is talking to each other, even people they don’t know.

Melissa Potter from Clarksville, Indiana said it’s comforting to be around like-minded people.

“Sometimes it’s scary to go out in your Trump gear, and now that we’re at the rally it just doesn’t matter,” she said. Everything feels normal.”

Ryan Van Velzer | wfpl.org

On the front side of Rupp Arena, more than a hundred protesters gathered to protest Trump and Bevin as of early Monday evening. A number of demonstrators held signs saying “we vape, we vote,” though other had more traditional protest signs including “Boot Bevin” and “Dump Trump.”

Lexington resident Elizabeth McCullough said she got here at 6 a.m. for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the president speak.

“He is securing the southern border, he’s bringing some of our troops home, the economy is great,” McCullough said.

But Trump isn’t on the ballot for Tuesday’s election. He’s in town to support Gov. Matt Bevin, who is being challenged by Democrat Andy Beshear. It remains to be seen whether the rally energizes Bevin’s base and translates to increased turnout on Tuesday; Elizabeth McCullough said at least in her case, Bevin has her vote because of his conservative social stance on issues like abortion.

This post has been updated.

Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter.