“Governor Beshear not only holds the majority of Democratic voters’ support at 85%, but also 44% of independent voters’ support and 28% of Republican voters’ support,” Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said. “Cameron has a weaker base of support within his own party with 53%, and trails Beshear among independent voters with 25%.”
Governor Beshear holds a 44% approval rating among Kentucky voters, and a 28% job disapproval; 28% of voters are neutral. President Biden holds a 22% job approval, while 62% of voters disapprove of the job he is doing in the Oval Office; 16% are neutral.
“While Biden is an unpopular figure among Kentucky voters, Beshear has been able to separate himself from the president: he holds a 66% approval rating within his own party, and a 34% approval among both independent and Republican voters,” Kimball noted.
In a 2024 hypothetical presidential election matchup between former President Trump and President Biden, Trump holds a 29-point point lead, 55% to 26%. Twelve percent plan to vote for someone else and 7% are undecided.
Trump and Biden voters were asked if there is anything that their preferred candidates could say or do in the next several months that would make them choose not to support them for office in 2024. Among Trump supporters, a majority (66%) say there is nothing he could say or do that would make them change their minds, while 16% say they could change their minds. Among Biden voters, a lesser majority (55%) say there is nothing that Biden could say or do in the next several months that would make them choose not to support him for president in 2024, while 16% can think of something that could make them change their mind.
Kentucky voters were asked separately which comes closest to their view on the 2016 and 2020 Presidential Elections: if Donald Trump in 2016, and Joe Biden in 2020, won fair and square, or if they stole their respective elections. Sixty-six percent of voters think Trump won the election in 2016 fair and square, while 17% think he stole the election. Eighteen percent are unsure. A plurality of Kentucky voters (47%) think Biden stole the 2020 election, while 36% think he won fair and square. Seventeen percent are unsure.
“Kentucky voters who voted for Trump in 2020 overwhelmingly think the 2020 election was stolen by Biden at 72%,” Kimball noted. “Biden 2020 voters are more split in their public opinion toward Trump’s win in 2016: 39% think Trump won fair and square while 37% think it was stolen.”
Midwest Study: The Kentucky general election survey is part of a 22-state study on the Midwest region and surrounding states. Additional states will be released over the next few weeks, along with the study results by the Middle West Review that is researching perceptions of the Midwest region.
The Emerson College Polling Kentucky poll was conducted October 1-3, 2023. The sample consisted of 450 registered voters, with a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, party, race, and education based on the general population using a sample of n=495 participants and allowing the natural fallout to create the sample of n=450. Turnout modeling is based on US Census parameters, and Kentucky voter registration and voter turnout data by regions(KY SOS). Data was collected by contacting a list of landlines via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and emails provided by Aristotle, along with an online panel of voters provided by Alchemer.
It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics, such as gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, carry with them higher credibility intervals, as the sample size is reduced. Survey results should be understood within the poll’s range of scores, and know with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times.
This survey was conducted by Emerson College Polling, and questions included in this release are all sponsored by Emerson College. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results and cross tabulations can be found here.