Kentuckians have mixed emotions when it comes to state and federal Republican leaders, according to a survey released this week by Western Kentucky University.
The “Big Red Poll,” conducted by the WKU Social Science Research Center surveyed 562 Kentuckians between Oct. 16 and Oct. 27, for their approval and disapproval of key political figures in the state and in the White House.
President Donald Trump has proven polarizing across the nation, according to recent national polling, but in Kentucky the Republican still enjoys popularity.
Fifty percent of Kentuckians said they were fairly satisfied with the performance of the President, according to the poll. Forty-two percent disapprove, and 8 percent indicated that they were not sure. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.13 percent.
Among Republicans Trump enjoys a 78 percent approval rating, with 68 percent of Democrats disapproving of Trump’s performance. Independents were largely split in the survey, with 48 percent approving and 44 percent disapproving.
Kentuckians split on Bevin
Kentucky’s Republican Gov. Matt Bevin does not enjoy the same level of support found for Trump, even though he is often compared to the businessman turned politician.
Forty-three percent of Kentuckians polled approved of Bevin, 42 percent disapprove, and 15 percent indicated they were not sure.
Bevin is popular among Republicans, but not as popular as Trump; 58 percent of Republicans approve of the GOP governor. Meanwhile 65 percent of Democrats disapproved of Bevin’s performance. Half of Kentucky independent voters polled approve of Bevin, while 39 percent indicated disapproval.
McConnell upside down nationally and at home
The Big Red Poll also tracked favorability ratings for several national and state political figures including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who held the lowest favorability with only 24 percent viewing him favorable, while 62 percent had an unfavorable view of the commonwealth’s senior Senator.
McConnell has suffered in national polling as well, an October survey from Harvard-Harris Poll found that 56 percent of Republicans say McConnell should resign as majority leader. Nationally in the same poll, McConnell held a 16 percent favorable rating, the lowest of any politician.
Forty-six percent of respondents have a favorable view of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, while 39 percent had an unfavorable view of him.
Andy Beshear polling could swing either way
Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, who has battled publicly with Bevin since the two entered office in 2015, holds a 32 percent favorable ranking, while 35 percent view Beshear as unfavorable, and 33 percent indicate they did not have enough information to form an opinion.
Download the full report here: Big Red Poll Executive Summary Fall 17.pdf