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Beshear has 61% approval rating at start of reelection year

Andy Beshear
J. Tyler Franklin
LPM News
Andy Beshear

A new poll shows Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear with a 61% approval rating, the highest of his first four-year term in office.

The results from Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategies are a boon to the governor’s bid for reelection this year, despite an electorate that has consistently voted for Republicans in other statewide contests.

Only 29% of likely voters disapprove of the governor’s job performance, according to the poll, and 10% of likely voters are not sure.

Beshear has drawn a crowd of 12 Republicans vying for the chance to unseat him.

The poll showed Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron leading the pack of GOP candidates, but still trailing Beshear in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, 49% to 40%.

Former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft lagged behind Beshear 57% to 32% and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles’ results were worse, 52% to 35%.

When asked if the 2023 Republican primary election for governor were held today, GOP voters supported this spread of candidates:

  • Daniel Cameron - 39%
  • Kelly Craft - 13%
  • Ryan Quarles - 8%
  • Mike Harmon - 5%
  • Alan Keck - 2%
  • Eric Deters - 2%

The poll showed 28% of Republican voters still unsure of who to vote for in the primary.

Beshear’s first term in office has been marked by tragedies. The coronavirus pandemic began three months after he was sworn in. One of the largest tornadoes in U.S. history ripped through western and central Kentucky in December of 2021. And a massive flood devastated eastern Kentucky in the summer of 2022.

The devastation has meant Beshear’s visage has been front-and-center for Kentuckians for much of his term.

Though many Republicans rankled at the governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, polling has consistently suggested that the public is supportive of Beshear’s job performance.

According to previous Mason-Dixon polls, Beshear’s approval rating was 55% in February 2021 and 60% in January 2022.

Beshear has drawn only two minor challengers in this year’s primary election: perennial candidate Geoff Young and former 2001 Republican gubernatorial nominee Peppy Martin.

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