POLL: Gov. Andy Beshear holding lead over all major GOP candidates

Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy released the results early Thursday morning.
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 6:42 AM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Early polling shows Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is leading in his bid for reelection.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy released the results early Thursday morning.

The data shows Governor Beshear with a 61% approval rating. It was 60% this time last year.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is leading out of 12 Republican candidates in the primary.

Cameron won over 39% of likely GOP primary voters. That’s more than all other GOP candidates combined.

The poll still shows Cameron losing to Beshear by nine points in a head-to-head race.

He fared better than all other major Republican candidates against the incumbent.

Breaking down Beshear’s approval rating

More than a third of the Republicans polled said they believe Governor Beshear is doing a good job.

41% approved of his performance, compared to 84% of Democrats and 53% of independents polled.

The numbers also show Beshear has stronger support among women and people younger than 50 than among men and people 50 and older.

Beshear scored 58% or higher in each part of Kentucky. He got 63% approval in Lexington.

Strong lead for Cameron in the GOP primary

39% of likely Republican primary voters said they’d vote for Daniel Cameron if the primary election happened today.

The second-most common answer was “undecided” with 28%.

Former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft was the only other candidate to score double digits with 13% of the vote.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles scored 8%. State Auditor Mike Harmon scored 5%.

12 Republicans total are running for governor, including three who didn’t win a single percent of the poll’s vote.

Potential matchups against the incumbent

The latest data shows no Republican winning against Governor Beshear.

Daniel Cameron had the best matchup, losing to the incumbent by nine percentage points. 11% said they remain undecided in that scenario.

Beshear had double-digit leads against the next three candidates: Kelly Craft, Ryan Quarles, and Mike Harmon.

Of those three, Craft had the weakest showing, winning just 32% of the vote compared to Cameron’s 40% in his matchup.

How the data was collected

Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy collected the data over a six-day period, starting on Jan. 18.

Pollsters surveyed 625 registered Kentucky voters by telephone.

The group included 273 Democrats, 287 Republicans, and 65 independents.

110 of those polled were from the Lexington/Bluegrass region, which Mason-Dixon considers Fayette, Woodford, Franklin, Anderson, Scott, Harrison, Bourbon, Nicholas, Clark, Madison, Montgomery, Garrard, Jessamine, Boyle, Mercer, Washington, Marion, Powell, and Estill counties.

Pollsters say there’s a 4% margin for error.

“This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the ‘true’ figure would fall within that range if all voters were surveyed,” the release from Mason-Dixon explains. “The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as a gender or party grouping.”

Kentucky’s Republicans will choose their top candidate to run against Governor Beshear at the primary on May 17.

The general election will be November 7.