Morning Consult released it’s quarterly rankings of America’s most and least popular governors Wednesday and, once again, Gov. Matt Bevin was ranked the fourth lowest in the country.
Bevin has been on a rehabilitation tour of sorts recently.
He’s traveled the state in recent weeks making stops from Paducah to Somerset, touting some of the economic successes Kentucky has seen since he took office in 2015.
The Morning Consult poll suggests that message may not be sticking. At many stops, he’s been met by teachers questioning his role in the Republican pension bill and some of the controversial comments he made about teachers during the pension debate.
That discussion has been the driving influence of the 2018 statehouse elections, as Republicans face a tough battle to maintain their large majorities in the House and Senate.
According to the poll, 55 percent of Kentuckians disapprove of the job Bevin is doing and 30 percent approve. Those numbers improved slightly from three months ago, but they aren’t encouraging for a man who has said he will run for a second term in 2019.
Bevin and his party have attempted to focus on the economy, pointing to the state’s low unemployment rate and studies that show changes to the tax code in 2018 have made the state more appealing to businesses.
But those talking points have done little to persuade teachers and public workers, who have publicly clashed with Bevin and Republicans. Last weekend, several dozen of them gathered at the Kentucky Capitol for a “moving out” party, where they brought U-Haul’s to send a message to Republicans in control.
Bevin’s numbers have dropped steadily since he helped introduce the Republican plan to address Kentucky’s massive pension liability last fall. The biggest drop came between April and July, after Bevin guaranteed that children were sexually assaulted because teachers protested in Frankfort and his attempt to roll back Kentucky’s medicaid expansion was knocked down by a federal judge.
Bevin’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.