Kentucky's Bevin now the least popular governor in US: poll

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) is the nation’s least popular governor, according to a poll from Morning Consult released Thursday.

The poll found Bevin with 33 percent approval in the state compared to 52 percent disapproval, a 19-point gap. Bevin and Rhode Island’s Gina Raimondo (D) were the only governors with at least 50 percent disapproval.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bevin, who faces reelection in November, has made numerous controversial statements since his election in 2015. In March, he told a local talk radio station he had deliberately exposed his nine children to chicken pox rather than vaccinating them and in January said schools that closed due to extreme cold were “getting soft.”

Besides Bevin, the 10 least popular governors were predominantly Democrats, although the popularity/unpopularity split was far less dramatic in most cases and only Bevin, Raimondo, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) were underwater with voters.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) was the seventh least popular governor, with 40 percent approval to 36 percent disapproval. In February, numerous figures called on Northam to resign after the discovery of a photo of a person in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan regalia on his medical school yearbook page, but a poll in early April found a majority of Virginians wanted him to remain in office.

The most popular governors are all Republicans, with the top two slots occupied by the governors of traditionally Democratic states: Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland. Baker and Hogan have both been the subject of speculation about a primary challenge to President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE and have regularly criticized the president.

The poll’s margin of error varies state by state, with a range of 1 to 4 percentage points. The Kentucky survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point. Morning Consult surveyed 472,802 voters from January 1 to March 31 for the poll.