Only 32 percent of Kentuckians surveyed this month approved of Republican Governor Matt Bevin’s job performance. Political Science Professor Joel Turner heads the Social Science Research Center at Western Kentucky University, which conducted the poll. He says despite Bevin’s low approval rating, his hardcore supporters appear to appreciate his recent efforts during the General Assembly.
"One thing you have to give the governor credit for, like him or not, or whether you agree with his approach, he's tackled head-on this pension issue. It will be a test case. It's hard to predict the future, but he should probably be glad he's running for re-election tomorrow."
Dr. Turner says pension reform is likely to blame for the General Assembly’s 25 percent approval rating. He says the legislature was expected to be criticized for reforming the pension system regardless of how they did it. But, he says state lawmakers took at public relations hit by how quickly the legislation was passed and how it was tacked on to a sewage bill.
"It's understandable from a technical standpoint why they handled it how they did in terms of putting it as part of a sewer bill. I think they ended up taking a policy hit, which they were going to take anyway on any change to the pension system, but they also took at PR hit."
Governor Bevin fared slightly better in the poll with 32 percent of Kentuckians approving his job performance. Pension reform also influenced the governor’s favorability. Sixteen percent of respondents said they supported the governor’s efforts to improve the pension system while 53 percent stood behind the