(The Center Square) – Poll results released this week by the Kentucky Democratic Party show that Governor Andy Beshear has strong national support, but Republicans have been skeptical of the poll.
Overall, the poll shows that voters support the Democratic governor with a margin of 59 to 37 percent. This includes 55% of independent voters and a third of those who voted for Donald Trump in November.
Beshear received similar results for addressing the COVID-19 crisis, with 58% saying they support him, compared with 37% who opposed it.
The poll also found that 77% of all Kentuckians, including two-thirds of Republicans, support Beshear’s order that individuals wear masks indoors. Only 20% were against it.
“It has been clear from day one that Governor Beshear was committed to putting public health above politics,” Colmon Elridge, chairman of the KDP, said in a statement. “These polls reflect that reality: the majority of Kentuckians trust Governor Beshear to make the right decisions to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
According to the survey, the majority of other controversial measures are also supported, albeit with significantly lower margins. For example, 55% said they support Beshear’s policy of limiting home gatherings to eight people. The order is refused by 41%.
The poll was conducted by the Garin Hart Yang Research Group, an electoral bureau that works with Democratic candidates. The attached memo shows that between December 14 and December 17, pollers polled 602 voters, with 47% of those polled identifying themselves as Republicans.
Identifying yourself as a Republican is a key concept. According to the latest figures from the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office, Democrats still have nearly 92,000 more registered voters, but over the past two decades the state has moved significantly towards the Republican Party.
Despite the strong influence of people who identify Republicans in the survey data, the poll found that only 37% of Kentuckians would rate the GOP majority leadership in the General Assembly as excellent or good, with a further 33% rated the party as fair. Unsurprisingly, only 8% of self-identified Democrats support House and Senate Republicans.
The poll results were released the day before the Kentucky General Assembly meeting in 2021 and two days before Beshear is scheduled to provide his address for the Commonwealth of Nations. Republican leaders have announced they are pursuing laws designed to curb some of the governor’s emergency COVID-19 provisions.
Republicans have large majorities in both chambers. In the November election, which took place six weeks before the poll, the GOP won 11 seats in the House of Representatives and will have a seat advantage of 75-25 at the start of the new session.
Republicans hold 30 of the 38 seats in the Senate. The super majorities in both chambers mean they can overturn Beshear vetoes.
These numbers caused some GOP officials and advisors to poke fun at the results.
“I can say in a poll that if you pay me for it, people loved Wonder Woman 84 …” tweeted Tres Watson, a Republican campaign and communications consultant.
Jake Cox, the Kentucky Republican Party’s director of research and digital strategy, noted that there were many Democratic incumbents and candidates on Beshear’s agenda.
“Sure, the @ KyDems poll is totally believable,” he tweeted.