A Beshear Boomlet
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) holds a commanding lead over his Republican opponent David Williams, according to a new poll released late Thursday, and holds a favorability rating among the highest of any governor.
The poll, conducted for the in-state cable-news channel cn|2, shows Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, leading the GOP ticket of Williams, the state Senate president, and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, 51 percent to 30 percent, among likely voters. Independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith took six percent, and 14 percent were undecided.
In a previous cn|2 poll, conducted in late February and early March, the Beshear ticket led the Williams ticket by a smaller, ten-point margin, 48 percent to 38 percent.
The new poll follows a recent TV ad campaign from Beshear, which touts his work on trying to improve the state's flagging economy. Beshear is seeking a second term after defeating former Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) in 2007.
"There's been a debate about whether the TV is effective," former Louisville Courier-Journal political writer Al Cross told cn|2.
"I don't think it's winning any votes to speak of, but it's helping him with the perception battle."
The poll shows that an overwhelming majority of likely voters approves of the job Beshear is doing: 65 percent approve of Beshear, while just 30 percent disapprove.
Williams also has a positive favorability rating (41 percent favorable/31 percent unfavorable), with 29 percent unsure. While there is some room for growth for Williams, his numbers are dwarfed by Beshear's 68 percent favorability rating, compared to 25 percent who view the incumbent unfavorably.