A new political poll shows the race for attorney general is a tossup, while re-election hopes fade for Insurance Commissioner Ron Todd of Lawrence.
Democratic attorney general candidate Richard Schodorf said today his showing in a new campaign poll indicates his message -- not that of GOP nominee Carla Stovall -- is resonating with Kansans.
"What we're saying is ... our criminal justice system is broken," said Schodorf, assistant Sedgwick County district attorney. "I think the average voter realizes that."
In a Mason-Dixon poll of 825 registered Kansans who regularly vote, Schodorf had 44 percent to Stovall's 42 percent. With a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, the race for attorney general is essentially even.
The poll, released today, was conducted for the Journal-World and several other Kansas media outlets.
Stovall, a Topeka attorney who worked for Atty. Gen. Bob Stephan, lost her lead in the Mason-Dixon poll taken early this month, when she was ahead with 37 percent to Schodorf's 27 percent.
Schodorf said his view that first-time offenders must be punished, even shamed, was popular statewide. Make inmates wear orange jumpsuits and work in public, he said.
"We want to change the definition of driveby. Have the victims driving by the criminals," he said.
The new poll indicated Democrat Kathleen Sebelius of Topeka has pulled ahead of Republican Ron Todd, Lawrence, in the race for insurance commissioner.
Sebelius, a Kansas House member, had 44 percent to Todd's 33 percent. In the previous poll, Todd was leading Sebelius 37 percent to 31 percent.
"As a challenger, it's nice to be in this position," Sebelius said today. "Indications are the momentum is moving our way."
The Democratic nominee for secretary of state, former TV hostess Fran Lee, reduced the lead of Republican Ron Thornburgh, assistant secretary of state.
Thornburgh dominated Lee by 21 percentage points earlier this month, but had a 42 percent to 29 percent advantage in the new poll.
State Treasurer Sally Thompson, a Topeka Democrat seeking a second term, widened her advantage over Republican Randy Duncan, a Salina businessman.
She polled 41 percent, while Duncan had 34 percent. Thompson previously had 31 percent to Duncan's 28 percent.