Rasmussen poll: Roberts, McCain have 20-point Kansas advantages

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -I’m sitting here on press row at Union Station, waiting for Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, to begin a town hall meeting.We also wanted to pass along some interesting polling information by Rasmussen Reports released this week that says McCain now has a 20-point lead in Kansas over Democratic candidate Sen. “Barack Obama and that incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., also has a 27-point lead over likely challenger and Democrat Jim Slattery, a former U.S. House member.The Roberts camp touted the poll results this morning. “We have always believed this would be the result when Kansans are faced with the choice of Senator Pat Roberts who never stops working for Kansas, and Jim Slattery, a lobbyist who quit working for Kansas years ago to enrich himself off special interests,” campaign spokeswoman Molly Haase said in a statement.Journal-World reporter Scott Rothschild received a statement from Slattery’s camp that blamed Roberts’ negative campaign ads recently for the bump.”However, we’re confident that once Kansans learn about Roberts abysmal record on energy policy, the economy, health care and the war that they will vote for change in November,” said Slattery spokeswoman Abbie Hodgson.As for the McCain numbers, it appears he has recovered from losing the state in the February GOP caucuses. Several spectators who are awaiting his arrival this morning at Union Station plan to ask him questions about gasoline prices, energy policy and the economy. We’ll see what he has to say.Lawrence resident Rick Davis, a 2005 Kansas University graduate and former Kansas House candidate, is in the crowd. He said McCain’s campaign is more focused on Missouri right now as a swing state and that he should do well in Kansas.Obama has Kansas family ties, and he did very well in the Democratic caucuses. But political scientists have anticipated it will still take a major political event for Kansas to come into play.This likely won’t be why Obama would choose her for the ticket, but one thing that could influence the Kansas race would be Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as Obama’s vice presidential nominee.”Without that, I think (McCain’s) got it locked up,” Davis said this morning while he waited for McCain to make his Kansas City, Mo., appearance.