A new list of rankings from a high-profile polling organization is giving a big red thumbs down to Gov. Matt Bevin.
Kentucky’s governor is the least popular in the nation among voters in their own state, according to Morning Consult’s Q2 rankings, with a 56% disapproval rating to just 32% who approve.
Bevin notably has ground to make up among voters in his own party, with an election looming in November. The governor faces a 40% disapproval rating among fellow Republicans in Kentucky, a number that comes after a May primary election where GOP challenger Robert Goforth, a state representative, scored 39% of the in-party vote to Bevin’s 52%.
His net approval among Kentucky voters, according to the Morning Consult poll, sits at -24 overall, which breaks down to +11 among Republicans, -63 among Democrats and -26 among Independents.
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The rankings do not measure how Democratic gubernatorial challenger Andy Beshear is rated, or how he stacks up against Bevin among voters in the commonwealth. Beshear and Bevin are engaged in a bitter campaign, after years of conflict during Beshear’s time as Kentucky’s attorney general.
Bevin’s campaign did not respond to a Courier Journal request for comment. But the governor has made it clear over the years that he’s not concerned about how he’s rated in polls — he’s never scored highly, he’s said, and still won the gubernatorial election in 2015.
“Have any of you ever seen a poll ever done — ever — in which I was more popular than unpopular? Any of you, ever? There has never been one,” Bevin told reporters in April, after a similar poll was released. “And I won 106 out of 120 counties (in 2015) while being the most unpopular candidate in the history of America, apparently. And so my point is this — it’s irrelevant.”
Gov. Matt Bevin is unsurprised and unconcerned with a recent poll that billed him as the least popular governor in America. April 25, 2019 Louisville Courier Journal
Bevin is one of just two governors with a disapproval rating in the Morning Consult poll higher than 50%, joining Rhode Island Democrat Gina Raimondo, whose rating sits at 55%.
It’s not an encouraging number for Bevin. But Republican Governors Association communications director Amelia Chassé Alcivar noted the poll didn’t give voters a choice other than Bevin, and there is no measure against Beshear.
“Available public polling indicates a competitive race, and Kentucky has a history of giving fairly low approval rankings to their elected officials that are subsequently reelected, like Sen. (Mitch) McConnell,” Alcivar said.
McConnell himself is listed in the poll as the least popular senator in the nation, with an approval rating of 36% and a disapproval rating of 50%. Sen. Rand Paul, meanwhile, ranks No. 9 on the list of least popular senators — his approval rating in the poll is 40% and disapproval rating is 39%.
Morning Consult is a national polling firm that surveys voters across the country on their lawmakers. The group said it surveyed 9,474 Kentucky voters in its most recent poll, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1 point.