Kentucky Mid-Session Issues Poll Summary

Publication date: March 20th, 2024
Written by: Sarah Coffey

The Center for Excellence in Polling recently surveyed likely Kentucky voters on important issues in the state. This survey follows a previous poll of likely voters in Kentucky conducted in October 2023.

Results1 of this follow-up poll indicate that support is strong—and in some cases, higher than it was last fall—for reforms that could get people back to work, keep elections secure, and eliminate divisive, discriminatory practices in higher education and banking.

Opposition to DEI programs has increased since 2023

Voters are most notably more opposed to so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices than they were in October 2023. Voters across the political spectrum—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents
alike—expressed greater opposition to all three DEI practices surveyed than they did last fall.


of likely voters oppose using college applicants’ physical characteristics in admission
decisions. This is up 14 points since the first poll in October 2023.


 of likely voters oppose spending taxpayer dollars on programs that teach Americans they are “privileged” or “oppressors” based on their skin color or their beliefs. This increased by 15 points compared to last fall.

Similarly, opposition to requiring university faculty to submit diversity statements has increased by two points since October, now sitting at nearly three-quarters of likely voters opposing (74 percent).


Voters are still opposed to ESG and debanking practices

A strong majority of likely voters still support requiring money managers to get their clients’ consent before making investments based on a political agenda (69%). Opposition to the practice of debanking has risen several points, especially among Democrats and Independents: 86 percent of voters now oppose allowing large banks to deny services based on a customer’s political, social, or religious views, including 88 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of Independents.

Support for welfare reform remains high

Compared to the fall 2023 poll, certain welfare reforms polled slightly lower in 2024. However, a majority of voters still support reforms to bring integrity to the welfare program and to promote work.


of likely voters support requiring the state to verify whether an individual is truly eligible for food stamps rather than extending automatic approvals.


support requiring able-bodied adults under 60 years old with no children under six to work, train, or volunteer at least part time as a condition of eligibility for food stamps.

Likely voters were surveyed on other reforms for the first time in this 2024 poll, and indicated strong support for reforms that would ensure welfare benefits are reserved for the truly needy:


…checking eligibility for people on welfare more frequently and with better technology to help ensure those receiving benefits are still eligible.


…requiring welfare recipients to report changes in their financial circumstances that could make them ineligible for the program within 10 days of that change.

A majority of Kentuckians see the value of work for teenagers

As Kentucky continues to face a historic labor shortage, voters also see the value in removing barriers for teenagers who want to work: More than half (52%), including more Democrats (52%) than Republicans (49%), support state work restrictions for high school students that align with, without being stricter than, federal law.

Voters are even more supportive of prosecuting election crimes

Kentucky voters’ support for an election crime unit that investigates election law violations jumped by nearly 10 points from October 2023. In this most recent survey, 81 percent of likely Kentucky voters support an election crimes unit.

Survey results indicate opportunities for meaningful reform

Likely Kentucky voters support reforms that will help the state preserve welfare resources, get people back to work, keep elections secure, and eliminate divisive DEI practices. In many cases, support has only increased over the last several months on these issues, and this indicates there are many opportunities for meaningful reforms backed by voters in the Bluegrass State.


Results for this poll were collected using a sampling frame from an online panel collected by the Center for Excellence in Polling. The statewide sample is of 435 likely Kentucky voters.

The survey was conducted February 23–27, 2024. The margin of sampling error is ± 4.70 percentage points. The margin of sampling error may be higher for subgroups. Results presented may not always appear to total 100 percent due to rounding.

Data were post-stratified using weighted demographic information from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey Voting and Registration Supplement and the state election authorities. Demographic information for actual voters in past elections was used to construct sample target weights.

Opportunity Solutions Project paid for all costs associated with this survey.

1Support and oppose results reported throughout are calculated by combining “strongly support/oppose” with “somewhat support/oppose” responses.