Ryun: Poll shows him ahead of Jenkins

? The Republican Party primary is more than 14 months away, but Jim Ryun on Wednesday claimed a lead over State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins in the race for the GOP nomination in the 2nd Congressional District.

Ryun released an internal campaign poll that showed him leading 61 percent to 27 percent among likely Republican voters.

“We are certainly pleased with the results of the poll, but we will not rest on our laurels,” Ryun, of Lawrence, said in a statement.

Jenkins, a former legislator who has won two statewide races handily, recently announced she would seek the GOP nod to face Democrat Nancy Boyda, who took the office away from Ryun in November.

“We’ve yet to see an internal campaign poll done 14 months before an election that matters,” Jenkins’ spokesman Pat Leopold said of the Ryun poll. The party primaries will be in August 2008.

“The most recent poll that mattered was the one taken last November, and Jim Ryun lost,” Leopold said.

Boyda, of Topeka, defeated Ryun 51 percent to 47 percent in one of the biggest upsets in the country. Ryun had held the congressional seat for 10 years before his defeat.

The new poll released by Ryun was conducted May 8 and 9. It surveyed 259 likely Republican voters in the district, which includes western Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan and southeastern Kansas. The poll had a plus or minus margin of error of 6.2 percentage points.

The poll found Ryun led Jenkins in head-to-head competition and had significant name identification advantage over Jenkins.

The pollster, Public Opinion Strategies, said that despite Ryun’s loss to Boyda “he has a tremendous residual base of support among Republicans in the district.”