Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin was the least popular governor in the nation even before he blamed a Louisville 7-year-old’s shooting on protesting teachers, according to data released Thursday by a bipartisan polling group.
According to Morning Consult’s latest set of quarterly rankings, which are gathered from a daily poll of 5,000 voters, Bevin has an approval rating of just 33%, and more than half of Kentuckians actively disapprove of him. His ignominy surpassed that of even Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who became the center of a public scandal over photos depicting blackface and Ku Klux Klan imagery in his medical school yearbook.
Not great news for an official hoping voters will keep him in office come November.
The rankings do not include information about why survey respondents approve or disapprove, but the origins of Bevin’s unpopularity might include his recent feuds with:
- Public school teachers, whose pension protests he has vehemently opposed. Thursday’s shooting comment wasn’t a one-off — in 2018, when Kentucky teachers rallied for pension protection and public education funding, he directly blamed them for sexual assaults, poisonings and injuries he claimed had happened while children were home alone. (He later apologized and said he hadn't spoken clearly.)
- His own attorney general, Democrat Andy Beshear, with whom he has been at odds over a cornucopia of issues throughout his time in office. Beshear is also among the challengers who hope to unseat Bevin on Election Day.
He’s not alone as an unpopular Kentucky politician, although at least Mike Pence seems to like him. Morning Consult’s data listed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a prominent supporter of Trump administration policy goals such as healthcare and tax overhaul, as the 94th most popular senator out of 100.
Representatives of Ohio and Indiana fared better, although none broke the top 10 in their respective categories.
Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine ranked 37; his counterpart in Indiana, Gov. Eric Holcomb, ranked 23.
Ohio Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown came in 52nd, outranking Republican colleague Sen. Rob Portman, who was 79th. Indiana's senators Mike Braun and Todd Young, both Republicans, ranked 75th and 78th respectively.