This time last year, Democrat Steve Beshear was in a battle to take the governor's mansion away from Republican Ernie Fletcher. It was before the realities of the recession and budget shortfalls set in. Casino gambling was the main topic.
A year later, 57 percent of Kentuckians polled by WKYT and The Lexington Herald-Leader approve or strongly approve of Beshear's performance during his first year on the job. Thirty-three either disapprove or strongly disapprove of the governor's performance. Ten percent of those polled were unsure.
Among members of his own party, Beshear's job approval was 74 percent versus a 15 percent disapproval. Kentucky Republicans were much more critical of Beshear's performance. The poll found that the majority (58 percent) of Republicans disapprove of Beshear's handling of the governorship while 33 percent approved.
The governor's strongest approval rating came from women. Sixty-two percent of women and 52 percent of men believe Beshear is going a good job.
WKYT and The Herald-Leader conducted the poll with the assistance of Research 2000 of Olney, Md. Between October 19 and 21, a total of 600 likely voters were interviewed statewide telephone.
Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross section of exchanges was utilized to ensure and accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect the voter registration of distribution by county.
The margin of error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus four percentage points. This means there is a 95 percent probability that the “true” figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled. The margin of error is higher for any subgroup, such as gender or party affiliation.
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