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Poll: Three Of Five Disapprove Of Fletcher's Performance

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Heading into the closing months of this
year's governor's race, Gov. Ernie Fletcher is facing a number of
voters dissatisfied with his overall first-term job performance, a
new poll shows.

An election poll sponsored by the Lexington Herald-Leader found
that three out of five people surveyed disapprove of the job
Fletcher has done during his first term. And, the poll also found,
about the same percentage of folks who responded would prefer to
have someone else lead Kentucky state government.

Fletcher, a Republican, is facing Democrat Steve Beshear in the
Nov. 6 election.

The poll of 600 people found that 37 percent say they'll
definitely vote, or are leaning toward voting, for Fletcher.
Meanwhile, 57 percent say they'd prefer someone else and 27 percent
of that group say they're definitely voting against Fletcher.

Of those surveyed, 59 percent said they disapproved of
Fletcher's job performance, while 37 percent approve of how he's
done.

"It tells you that there are a whole lot of Kentuckians who
have already made up their minds about Ernie Fletcher," state
Democratic Party Chairman Jonathan Miller, said of the poll
results.

Fletcher's campaign spokesman Jason Keller, however, said the
governor still has time before the election to convince voters he's
the best candidate. Keller said the campaign was "confident" the
governor's approval numbers would move.

Kentucky is one of three states in the country electing a
governor this year.

The poll surveyed 600 likely voters between Sept. 10-13, and it
has a 4-percent margin of error.

Del Ali, president Research 2000, the Olney-Md.-based firm that
conducted the poll, said such numbers are generally bad news for
incumbents.

A poll released on Friday showed Beshear leading Fletcher by 17 percentage points, 56 percent to 39 percent.

A former congressman, Fletcher had negative reviews in all six
of Kentucky's congressional districts and he was weakest in
Louisville. In the state's largest city, 71 percent of those who
responded disapproved of Fletcher's job performance, while 25
percent approved.

William Moore, a Morehead Democrat who supported the governor
four years ago, said he was disappointed with Fletcher.

"He said he'd give us some change, and that change didn't
happen," Moore told the newspaper.

Moore said he disagreed with Fletcher's decision in 2005 to
pardon his entire administration for any criminal charges that
could be brought stemming from a lengthy hiring investigation.

Soon after Fletcher took office in 2003, a special grand jury
began investigating a complaint that his administration had
violated state hiring laws in a scheme to reward political
supporters with state jobs.

Fletcher, an ordained Baptist minister, and at least 14 of his
aides and associates were indicted. Fletcher issued pardons for
everyone except himself. His lawyers worked out a deal with
prosecutors to have the charges against him dropped.

Meanwhile, the poll also found that Beshear's running mate,
state Sen. Daniel Mongiardo of Hazard, had more favorable ratings
among respondents than Fletcher's running mate, Robbie Rudolph.

Fifty-three percent gave Mongiardo a favorable rating while
Rudolph, who is secretary of the governor's executive cabinet, had
a 33 percent favorable mark.


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