Poll: Beshear's Popularity Has Declined Since Election

The Kentucky governor's office can be a tough place. Steve Beshear, who was an experienced politician, found the waters choppy early on. He entered office last year confident of his ability to lead and bring about change.

"It won't matter if it's a Republican idea of a Democratic idea, as long as it's a good idea for the Commonwealth," Governor Beshear said last December, on his inauguration day.

But Beshear's administration quickly ran into problems. Among them, a budget shortfall that required him to slash spending, the legislature's rejection of his call for a casino amendment, and seeing a proposal for a cigarette tax increase go up in smoke.

Now, the WKYT Herald-Leader Kentucky Poll, among 600 likely voters, finds Beshear's approval rating at just 39 percent. 55 percent disapprove of the governor's performance so far.

He does have majority appeal among Democrats, but only one in four Republicans approve of his performance, and most independents disapprove.

Joe Gershtenson, director of the Eastern Kentucky University Center For Politics, says early in a governor's tenure is a tough time for popularity to slide.

"That's typically when an incoming governor has the most influence and most ability to push through their proposals," Gershtenson said. "It creates a difficult situation for the governor."

One item driving down Beshear's approval may be this: 58 percent of those questioned say the governor has not fulfilled his campaign pledge to restore integrity to state government, which was a key plank of his campaign.

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  • by skyhawk Location: Lexington on May 14, 2008 at 08:42 AM
    (edited) I don't think he has done very good job so far but his rating is still above your beloved Ernie's! I hate to burst your bubble Steve, but the gas cost are the fault of BOTH parties not doing anything. Try taking the blinders off every now and then.
  • by Zatoichi Location: Richmond on May 14, 2008 at 08:41 AM
    We want our casinos! We deserve them! Where are they? When I get my expanded gaming he will get my high approval. there are a lot of high rollers in KY. We are tops in the nation in number of folks that travel to Vegas for the casinos and the viagara (ViVA them both). This is another Zat-Fact.
  • by DGF Location: Central KY on May 14, 2008 at 06:35 AM
    I am a life long Republican who voted for Gov. Beshear last year in part to end the train wreck that was called the Fletcher administration. Steve Beshear is the only Governor in many years who is dealing with the states financial situation in a realistic manner. In other words he isn't spending money that doesn't exist. In the begining I assumed that he would be your typical tax and spend liberal but so far he has not been that way. I give him good marks up to this point.
  • by Chris Location: Avon on May 14, 2008 at 06:30 AM
    Matt said it best: WHAT A TOOL! lol STevie has not done one positive thing since he took office and I doubt he will do anything positive during his next 3 1/2 years in office. I pity the State of Kentucky. At least we won't have to worry about Beshear, Mongiardo or Chandler ever getting elected in this State again.
  • by James Location: Lawrenceburg, KY on May 13, 2008 at 09:32 PM
    Steve Beshear approval down, what a shocker. You dems out there put him in, now deal with it.
  • by Shelby Location: Richmond on May 13, 2008 at 07:10 PM
    Hard to believe Steve's approval rating is down!! Just kidding. The only reason he was elected was because big time casino backers/developers backed/bankrolled his election. Looks like it backfired Stevie. That's the way the "dice" falls sometimes. Instead of trying to push away whatever Republican ideas are put before him, just because they are Republican ideas, why don't you at least consider these ideas or suggestions? I know you won't or can't do this because you and you cronies are Democrats. GROW UP!!!! LET'S WORK TOGETHER ON OUR PROBLEMS-NOT AGAINST EACH OTHER, JUST BECAUSE OF OUR POLITICAL PREFERENCES!!!
  • by steve Location: irvine on May 13, 2008 at 05:32 PM
    I told you people so he sucks and he is a liar and this is what you will have in Washington to. look how gas has went up from $2.20 a gallon in two years to $4 a gallon after the democrats won in 2006 you better wake up people. You know for yourselves we lived better 2 years ago than we do now you know this.
  • by Anonymous Location: Frankfort on May 13, 2008 at 05:15 PM
    After seeing the disaster that was the legislative session this year, I don't know if I would have voted for Beshear if given a second chance. At least when Ernie was in office there supposedly wasn't a money problem, state employees were allowed to do their jobs, and things got done. Currently state employees are being told to sit at their desks and do nothing because there isn't enough money to do what you were hired to do now. And if you're lucky enough to be in an office that still pushes and bucks the system to let you do what you are supposed to be doing...then you are flooded with mounds and mounds of paperwork in order to get approval to stay overnight somewhere instead of risking driving a state vehicle for 20 hours in a day just to get back to Frankfort. They are shooting themselves in the foot for the sake of "looking" like they are controlling costs, but are in actuality stepping over 100 dollar bills in order to save a nickel.
  • by Matt Location: Lexington on May 13, 2008 at 04:45 PM
    He lost my approval when in his first week he sought to slash the education fund. What a tool.
  • by Chris Location: Lexington on May 13, 2008 at 04:32 PM
    His approval rating will continue to decline as does our state under his admin. Too bad for KY, we had a great GOV with Fletcher.


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