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Kentucky Republican Matt Bevin is the least popular governor in America

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, who is up for reelection in November, is the most unpopular governor in the entire country.

By Dan Desai Martin - April 25, 2019
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Matt Bevin

Out of 50 governors across the country, one man stands out as the least popular in America: Kentucky’s Matt Bevin.

In a Thursday poll released by Morning Consult, Bevin, a first-term Republican, has a massive 19-point approval gap. A majority of Kentucky residents, 52%, disapprove of him while only 33% approve. Bevin is the only governor in the nation disapproved of by more than half the population.

The poll did not ask Kentucky voters why they’re so unhappy with Bevin, but his short tenure has been marked by a series of controversial incidents that have garnered widespread criticism.

In April 2018, Bevin attacked teachers who were striking to demand more education funding with an outlandish and baseless accusation that incidents of child molestation during the strike were the fault of the teachers.

“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them,” Bevin told a local television station. He also said children may have consumed poison or been introduced to drugs because schools were closed.

Instead of apologizing to teachers, Bevin attacked critics for misunderstanding his statements.

In January 2019, Bevin found a new target to attack: schoolchildren. Bevin whined that kids were “going soft” because schools closed amid brutally freezing temperatures and windchills of 15 below zero. At those temperatures, frostbite can occur in less than 30 minutes. But Bevin expressed no concern for the safety of the kids.

“[I]t does concern me a little bit that in America — on this and any number of other fronts — we’re sending messages to our young people that if life is hard, you can curl up in the fetal position somewhere in a warm place and just wait until it stops being hard,” Bevin said.

Bevin has also received a great deal of criticism for his repeated attempts to take away health care from Kentucky residents. Bevin concocted a plan to kick 95,000 people off of the state’s Medicaid by requiring recipients to work at least 20 hours a week. When the state was sued, Bevin threatened to end the state’s Medicaid expansion program, which would have resulted in 450,000 people losing their health care.

A federal judge rejected Bevin’s arguments.

The latest poll is in line with a December 2018 poll that also showed Bevin as wildly unpopular. Kentucky is one of three states holding an election for governor in 2019, meaning Bevin has only six months to improve his standing in a state where more than half the residents are unhappy with the job he’s doing.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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