Kentucky

Kentucky’s Bevin is among least popular governors in U.S., study says.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin swalker@herald-leader.com

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is the fourth-most unpopular governor in the country in Morning Consult’s latest survey, which blames his remarks about teachers and handling of Medicaid recipients.

Last spring’s teacher protests contributed to his poor ranking in the bottom 10 of the survey for the first time since May 2016, Morning Consult said.

Fifty-seven percent of Kentucky voters in the new survey said they disapproved of Bevin’s job performance during the second quarter, which ended in June. Twenty-nine percent backed him, the survey showed. The results were a 25 percent dip from the previous quarter.

The Morning Consult survey follows Western Kentucky University’s Big Red Poll, which showed in April that 56 percent of Kentuckians disapprove of Bevin.

“Morning Consult data shows voters were already souring on Bevin when on April 13 he levied the charge that children had been sexually assaulted or physically harmed due to being left alone while their teachers protest,” the website said.

He later apologized for his comments.

On his Facebook, Governor Matt Bevin addresses comments he made Friday about students potentially being sexually assaulted due to teachers attending a rally in Frankfort.

Bevin’s Medicaid overhaul was also blamed for the “rocky road” he has faced in voter satisfaction. The state cut vision and dental coverage July 1 but later reinstated those benefits to nearly 400,000 Medicaid recipients. Bevin’s plan to require some Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer in order to continue receiving benefits was struck down by a federal judge in June.

Kentucky is working with the Federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services on getting reapproval for the Medicaid work plan. He has threatened to end health care for Medicaid recipients who were added to the plan under the previous administration.

Bevin has not yet announced if he is seeking re-election. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, who has been Bevin’s political foil, became the first candidate earlier this month for next year’s governor election.

According to the survey, the most unpopular governor in the country, Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin, is also a Republican in a state dealing with a teachers’ strike. Oklahoma teachers went on strike for nine days, protesting low pay and tax cuts that led to lower education spending.

Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker and Maryland’s Larry Hogan, both Republicans, were the most popular governors after the second quarter, according to the survey.

The survey was completed by 326,051 registered U.S. voters from April 1 through June 30, the website stated.

Governor Matt Bevin's decision to cut vision and dental care for some Kentucky Medicaid recipients is hurting Healthy Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Prestonsburg, where office manager Jessica Clark-Boyd is turning away patients.

Morning Consult governor survey results from the second quarter are below.





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