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No Title 1723

Kentucky Living readers know that energy use and the environment can affect each other. And they act on that knowledge, say the results of a survey mailed in to the magazine during October.

And the more than 7,500 survey respondents also have their own ideas about running state government.

Take November’s race for governor, for example. Statewide voters gave Steve Beshear a strong 59 to 41 percent victory on election day. But the survey showed Kentucky Living subscribers, who tend to live in the more rural parts of the state, registered a far narrower margin of 37 to 32 percent over incumbent Ernie Fletcher.

Another survey response indicates there could be tricky times ahead for one of Beshear’s top issues during the campaign.

Beshear said that if elected he would support a state referendum to let voters decide whether to allow some forms of gambling in the state.

That kind of referendum will have a tough time with Kentucky Living readers. On a closely divided 48 to 44 tally, readers answered “No” to the question, “Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio allow gambling on riverboats or in casinos and advertise in Kentucky to attract players. Should Kentucky legalize expanded gambling to keep the money spent on gambling in Kentucky?”

That’s a turnabout from four years ago. In response to the same question in the 2003 survey, readers said “Yes” by 55 to 39.

Kentucky Living includes a survey in the magazine every four years before the election for governor. Knowing where readers stand on the top issues facing Kentucky helps the editors in making decisions on what to publish in the magazine. The governor election provides a focus for a lot of those issues. It’s also fun to read what our neighbors think about the hot issues of the day.

And what could be hotter than global warming?

Nearly all readers, 90 percent, agreed that the world is getting warmer. But opinions differed when asked to make one of three choices.

Half of those who responded to the survey agreed that “Global warming is a serious issue for the planet and we should be doing everything we can to reduce greenhouse gases even if it means major lifestyle changes.”

A smaller share, 40 percent, chose the statement, “Global warming is a real phenomenon, but it is most likely just a naturally occurring cycle of our planet and there’s little mankind can do to change it.”

Ten percent selected, “Global warming is nothing more than a bunch of hype created by environmental extremists to try to promote their agenda.”

But most of those readers came back together over questions about using energy efficiently.

Seventy-five percent placed a high value on conserving energy in their homes. That’s how many rated it an 8, 9, or 10 on a scale of 10.

And how are they making the best use of electricity? Many of them have already started using compact fluorescent light bulbs, which cost more but use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times as long. Sixty-two percent of the Kentucky Living readers say they use at least one compact fluorescent light in their house. And 23 percent say they have saved money as a result. Another 12 percent say they plan to buy the super-efficient bulbs.

Another indicator that Kentucky Living readers know a lot about energy is their increasing awareness of Touchstone Energy. Touchstone is the brand that represents electric co-op utilities all across the country. It helps provide a variety of regular information and services to member co-op utilities.

Seventy percent of the survey respondents said they were either “somewhat” or “very” aware of Touchstone Energy. That’s up from 60 percent four years ago.

And how do these readers know so much? By reading Kentucky Living, of course. Seventy percent on the survey cited Kentucky Living as their primary source of information about Touchstone Energy. Fourteen percent said they heard about it from TV ads, 8 percent through bill inserts, and 2 percent on the radio.

Thanks to everyone who took the time and effort to be a part of this survey.

KEYWORD EXCLUSIVE: For the full results of the Kentucky Living reader survey, go to 2007 survey

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