Matt Bevin’s tenure as Kentucky’s governor has not been without controversy, but he is growing more popular with Bluegrass State voters as they get to know him better, according to Morning Consult’s latest Governor Approval Rankings.
The Republican governor’s job approval rating has rebounded in a big way after he got off to a rough start with voters when he swiftly fulfilled a campaign promise to shut down Kynect, the state-run health care exchange.
New survey data compiled from May through early September shows 45 percent of Kentuckians approve of his job performance and 41 percent disapprove of him. It’s a huge 19-point positive net swing from the first quarter of the year, when just 33 percent of voters viewed his job performance favorably and almost half (48 percent) disapproved of him.
Bevin was one of two new governors elected in 2015, and his shift in approval through the year is higher than the other first-termer, Democrat John Bel Edwards of Louisiana.
However, the Louisiana governor still remains slightly more popular than his Kentucky counterpart.
Edwards, a U.S. army veteran who defeated GOP Sen. David Vitter last fall, has seen his numbers creep down slightly after getting off to a strong start with Bayou State voters. Over the first quarter of the year, 45 percent of Lousianans approved of his job performance, while one-third did not approve. But subsequent surveys show his negatives rising to 39 percent, while his positives rose just 1 point to 46 percent. It’s a negative net swing of 5 points.