Kentucky voters reject every McConnell stance on COVID-19 relief

Kentucky voters reject every McConnell stance on COVID-19 relief
Credit: Gage Skidmore

The voters of Kentucky roundly support the key provisions of the HEROES coronavirus relief bill from House Democrats, and roundly oppose Sen. Mitch McConnell's push to reopen schools in the middle of the pandemic. That's what Public Policy Polling (PPP) found in a poll conducted July 17-18 in Kentucky for Protect Our Care. This, by the way, was a group of 1,547 Kentucky voters who won for Donald Trump in 2016, 57% to 33%. That's 24-point margin for Trump. It's also about the same margin—56% to 31%—who disagree with McConnell's push to have kids back in school even as coronavirus infections continue to rise.

Likewise, a majority of Kentuckians support everything that Democrats included in coronavirus relief, all the things McConnell is fighting: 73% to 14% support increasing funding for testing and treatment for the coronavirus; 68% support increasing federal funding for Medicaid, with only 17% opposed; 66% support an additional round of $1,200 stimulus payments to most Americans, 25% are opposed; 65% support allocating $1 trillion to state and local governments to pay vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers, just 21% oppose; 57% support a 15% increase in food assistance to families and additional funding to pay for nutritional programs, just 27% oppose; 52% support creating a special enrollment period for Americans to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, just 26% oppose. On every single issue, Kentucky opposes McConnell and Trump.

But where McConnell is really in trouble is standing with Trump on forcing schools to reopen. A 61% majority of Kentuckians trust medical experts more than Trump to make the decision whether children should be back in school. Just 35% of them think will be safe. They are also opposed to the proposal that school funding be withheld from schools that follow the advice of medical experts and do not reopen in the fall, 52% to 29%.

No wonder McConnell is so far behind Kentucky's Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in approval ratings. McConnell is underwater by eight points (40-48) to Beshear's 19-point advantage with voters, 54% approval to 35% disapproval. That's nothing to his national numbers, though.

Beating McConnell in Kentucky is going to be a hard haul. He is always underwater in his home state but continues to win because he brings stuff back. But with McConnell and what he's fighting against in this bill, so unpopular even in his home state, imagine how unpopular it will be for voters in Maine, in Colorado, in Iowa and Texas and Georgia, where all those vulnerable Republican senators don't have his kind of clout.


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