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Poll: Matt Bevin Still The Most Unpopular Governor In U.S.

J. Tyler Frankin

Gov. Matt Bevin is again the most unpopular governor in America and is getting less popular according to a new poll.

Bevin was first elected in 2015 and is seeking reelection this year, trying to become the first Republican governor in state history to serve two terms.


According to the new poll by Morning Consult, Bevin has a 56 percent disapproval rating and 32 percent approval rating.

Notably, Bevin has a 40 percent disapproval rating among Republicans following this year’s primary election, where relatively unknown challenger Robert Goforth, a state representative, won 39 percent of the vote to Bevin’s 52 percent.

Bevin’s approval rating has gone down four points since earlier this year, when the polling firm first tagged him as the country’s least popular governor.

Kentucky’s race for governor is rated as a “tossup” by Cook Political Report, which monitors elections across the country.

His opponent this year is Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, son of Bevin’s predecessor, Gov. Steve Beshear.

Morning Consult did not rate Beshear’s popularity or ask voters who they would prefer in a head to head match up between Bevin and Beshear.

During Bevin’s first term, Republicans have logged big political successes — winning control of both chambers of the legislature for the first time in state history and passing a variety of conservative initiatives.

But Bevin has also drawn fire from teachers and state workers for his attempts to overhaul Kentucky’s pension system and a series of inflammatory remarks about his political opponents.

The Morning Consult poll also rated U.S. Senators, and Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell is once again rated as the least popular senator in the nation, with a disapproval rating of 50 percent. Sen. Rand Paul has a disapproval rating of 39 percent.

Morning Consult said it surveyed 9,474 likely Kentucky voters over the last three months.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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