Raising the minimum wage is the top issue for Kentucky voters as they ponder who to make their next governor, according to a new Bluegrass Poll.
Nineteen percent of respondents said raising the state’s $7.25 minimum hourly wage is their top priority. Attorney General Jack Conway, the presumed Democratic nominee for governor, has said he supports the idea while four Republicans vying for the GOP nomination have said they oppose it.
Republicans, though, have the advantage in the second-most important issue in the race, which voters identified as “doing away with the Kynect health insurance exchange.”
Thirteen percent of respondents said eliminating the health exchange set up by Gov. Steve Beshear was their top priority, compared to 9 percent who said their top concern was “improving the Kynect health insurance exchange.”
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Republican candidates Will T. Scott and Matt Bevin have been clear in saying that moving Kentuckians to the federally-run health insurance exchange is a top priority.
Tax reform was the top issue for 12 percent of respondents, followed by “other” at 11 percent. Education and fixing the teachers’ pension fund both came in at 10 percent, while drug addiction and “right-to-work” garnered 8 percent each.
Among Republican respondents, eliminating Kynect was the top issue at 21 percent, followed by 16 percent for tax reform.
Among Democratic respondents, raising the minimum wage was the top concern for 26 percent, followed by 13 percent for fixing the ailing teachers’ pension fund.
The Bluegrass Poll, conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of the Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV in Lexington and The Courier-Journal and WHAS-TV in Louisville, surveyed 1,903 registered voters from March 3 to March 8. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.
Check back on Kentucky.com at 6 pm to find out who is leading in the Republican primary for governor and how the GOP candidates stack up against Conway.