Kentucky governor’s race tied: poll

Greg Nash
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) is tied with his Democratic rival just three weeks before Election Day in a race President Trump’s political team is watching closely.
A new survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy finds Bevin and state Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) tied at 46 percent each.
{mosads}That’s an improvement for Bevin, whose job approval rating has been underwater for years. The last time Mason-Dixon surveyed the race, in December, Beshear led by 8 points.
Bevin is still unpopular; just 45 percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing as governor, while 48 percent disapprove. But the incumbent is moving in the right direction — his approval rating has climbed 7 points since December, despite a brutal primary campaign in which Bevin only narrowly won the Republican nomination.
The rifts from that primary campaign seem to have healed. Bevin is now winning more than three quarters of the Republican vote, according to the poll, as well as 22 percent of Democrats, likely those who live in ancestrally Democratic areas where coal jobs and union membership were once dominant.
Independent voters break for Beshear by a 46 percent to 38 percent margin, the poll finds. Beshear leads by double digits in Louisville and Lexington, while Bevin holds big advantages in the rural eastern and western sections of the state.
Few other public surveys have tested Kentucky’s electorate, but Democrats have been optimistic about Beshear’s chances in recent months, especially in the wake of the vicious Republican primary.
Bevin in recent weeks has tried to nationalize the contest, especially since House Democrats began impeachment hearings into Trump.
Trump’s job approval rating is strong in Kentucky, where 57 percent like the way he is handling his job as president. Just 29 percent of Kentucky voters say they support impeaching Trump, and 65 percent are opposed.
Trump on Tuesday tweeted out his endorsement of Bevin. Bevin has hosted Donald Trump Jr., who campaigned for him in eastern Kentucky in August.
Beshear, on the other hand, has tried to keep the race focused on local issues. He has been critical of Bevin’s fights with teachers, and he has promised to support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act that his father implemented as governor.
The two candidates have been at each other’s throats for years, ever since Bevin succeeded Beshear’s father in the governor’s mansion and Beshear took over the state’s legal department. Beshear’s office has repeatedly sued the Bevin administration, and Bevin has sought to curtail some of Beshear’s powers.
The Mason-Dixon poll was conducted October 10-13 among 625 registered Kentucky voters. The poll carries a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
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