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Poll shows low approval rate for Brownback


Topeka — Gov. Sam Brownback has one of the lowest approval ratings among U.S. governors, according to a poll released Tuesday, and is potentially vulnerable going into his 2014 re-election effort.

However, the poll also showed there's no indication that Democrats can field a candidate who can defeat Brownback in 2014, because of the state's strong Republican orientation.

Fifty-two percent of Kansans disapprove of Brownback's performance as governor, while 37 percent approve, according to Public Policy Polling, a national poling group.

“Sam Brownback’s really unpopular,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “The question is whether he’s unpopular enough to allow a Democratic challenger to overcome the very heavy Republican lean of the state.”

The North Carolina polling firm conducted its first-ever Kansas poll from Feb. 21-24 with a survey of 1,229 registered Kansas voters. The poll has a plus or minus margin of error rate of 2.8 percent.

Seventy-two percent of moderates disapprove of Brownback's job performance, as well as 30 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of independents.

Brownback's plan to phase out the state income tax is opposed by 48 percent of voters, while only 37 percent are supportive.

Brownback's former chief of staff David Kensinger, who now runs Brownback's policy organization, called Road Map Solutions, disagreed with the poll results. "That doesn't match up with the internal data we're seeing, or with other media exit polls or with actual election results," Kensinger said.

Kensinger said any governor in the country would love to run on Brownback's record.

But Kansas Democratic Party Chairwoman Joan Wagnon said the poll shows Kansans "see through the fairy tale Brownback is spinning and understand his policies will hurt Kansas students, Kansas workers, and Kansas families."

When matched against six Democratic names, however, Brownback comes out ahead.

PPP tested Brownback against Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, former governor and current U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former Gov. Mark Parkinson, state Sen. Tom Holland, who ran against Brownback in 2010, former Kansas City, Kan. Mayor Joe Reardon, and Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor.

Brownback led Brewer, 44-40; Sebelius, 48-43; Parkinson, 45-39; Holland, 45-38; Reardon, 45-36; and Taylor, 44-32.

PPP said that despite Brownback's unpopularity, Republican domination in voter registration and the low profile of Democrats still give Brownback a lead. "Nevertheless, Brownback is stuck at the 44-45 mark in all of these matchups except the one against Sebelius, so if Democrats nominate a strong candidate and they build up their name recognition, they should at least have a shot in this race next year, " the polling firm said.


Lane Signal 5 years, 2 months ago

Finally some evidence that the larger public (and some who call themselves Republicans) are catching on to Brownie's lies and incompetence. Good news.

Mike1949 5 years, 2 months ago

Actually, any independent or liberal would be a 2000 % improvement over brownback!

Catalano 5 years, 2 months ago

Dear Sandy Praeger: Please primary Sam. Thank you.

James Nelson 5 years, 2 months ago

Or switch parties. It is not the bad thing it used to be. Most moderate republicans are closer to the democratic party than they are to the tea party or the extreme right, anyway.

JJTitan83 5 years, 2 months ago

Definitely making up crap. Would a member of the mob say the don is doing a bad job?

chootspa 5 years, 2 months ago

It doesn't match up with Trabert's loaded question polls.

notyourmom 5 years, 2 months ago

I was thinking of how Republicans saying, ""That doesn't match up with the internal data we're seeing" reminds me of the recent Presidential election.

Norm Jennings 5 years, 2 months ago

Can't blame him, probably hard to match anything up with your nose stuck where his is, perhaps there's not enough daylight where the sun doesn't shine?

overthemoon 5 years, 2 months ago

Like their numbers have been trustworthy on anything. They don't do numbers. Just dogma.

average 5 years, 2 months ago

Would that there were a Democrat in the state that even 5% of the state could identify. Jean Schodorf might be the closest to reaching that number.

Meg McNelly Schimmels 5 years, 2 months ago

All the R mods have been purged, lawrenceloser. They've got nothing left but die hard religionists and free-market testifiers. If only Kansans would stop holding on to the R next to their voter affiliation.

Norm Jennings 5 years, 2 months ago

better hope they keep their "R"s and find some more moderate friends to add them

did you read the entire article? -- the best shot at unseating the gomer is the primary, not the general

chootspa 5 years, 2 months ago

Too hard to get them to win a primary. Lower turnout, and it tends to be more extreme. The best bet is a moderate independent candidate.

jafs 5 years, 2 months ago

Well, if I and D registered R and voted in the R primaries, then a moderate R might very well have a chance.

I don't know if it's a better chance than a moderate I in the general election.

Meg McNelly Schimmels 5 years, 2 months ago

Dave Kensinger says this doesn't match up with his internal data. Neither does Brownback's budget figures. Two billion here, two billion there...just a simple accounting error.

question4u 5 years, 2 months ago

"That doesn't match up with the internal data we're seeing, or with other media exit polls or with actual election results," Kensinger said.

All the evidence shows that the polls are biased and Mitt Romney will be our next president, Kensinger added.

Hardhawk1 5 years, 2 months ago

A moderate republican has zero chance against Sam in the primary. Look what happened to the moderates in 2012. The fact is that the conservatives own the GOP primary because they actually vote. The democrats need to have a candidate who has name recognition and the ability to raise incredible amounts of money to even have a chance of being competitive. The conservatives have spent the last 20+ years working hard to get where they are today. They are not going to go away without a battle of epic proportions. Bottom line is regardless of popularity, the fact is that barring some unforeseen game changing development, Sam will cruise to a second term.

hedshrinker 5 years, 2 months ago

As a lifelong progressive, I hate to agree with you; the Kochs and the Chamber of Commerce poured millions of dollars and powerful national resources such as Americans for Prosperity and other conservative organizations into eliminating any whispered prayer a moderate Republican had last election. The Republicans have successfully used the wedge issues of" traditional family values" (whatever that means), conservative religious ideology (read against teaching evolution and earth science) ,anti-abortion , demonizing immigrants, the poor, people of color and gay people out of fear as a powerful rallying cry that is a formidable force, at least in largely rural areas. I believe that if the National Democratic Party committed resources to Red states in a genuine 50 state plan instead of writing us off, progressives and moderate Republicans could make a comeback...I'm originally from Iowa, a largely rural and Republican state, but it has a tradition in some ways similiar to KS of balance /division of power and some surprising progressives.

lawslady 5 years, 2 months ago

UNLESS every person who cares about the issue registers as a Republican - for the sole purpose of voting in the primary. Think about it. YOU can make a difference (and switch back or to Independent later on if you want).

optimist 5 years, 2 months ago

Leave it to Rothschild to write a story about a poll and provide no information about the questions. Who are these pollsters anyway? As if we should put any stock into this. If I were reading it in print I'd line my bird cage with it...if I had a bird cage; or a bird for that matter.

chootspa 5 years, 2 months ago

Oh noez. Finding that information might take seconds of searching Google. Full results here: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/PPP_Release_KS_022613.pdf

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 2 months ago

"Kensinger said any governor in the country would love to run on Brownback's record."

Chris Christie, R-New Jersey, and Rick Scott, R-Florida, disagree. They want nothing to do with Brownback's record. And that's just two GOP governors in the past week.

James Nelson 5 years, 2 months ago

Kensinger is nothing but one of Brownback's pit bulls or apologist, depending upon what kind of support he needs at the moment. He has done more to perpetuate republican lies than just about anyone.

I am very glad to see moderate republicans unashamed of their beliefs.

Jim Williamson 5 years, 2 months ago

Dave Kensinger is to Sam Brownshirt as Karl Rove was to W.

dabbindan 5 years, 2 months ago

here's the link to the poll: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/PPP_Release_KS_022613.pdf i found if quite easily. print and read and file as you see fit.

Bob Forer 5 years, 2 months ago

Sandy has two options if she decides to run:

1) Go after Brownshirt in the primary, which would be very difficult. As pointed out by chootspa, primary turnout tends to favor the reactionary elements.

2) Switch parties and run against Sammy on the democratic ticket. I am sure the dems would love to have her. She would have a chance.

Stephanie Hull 5 years, 2 months ago

I was one of the voters called for this poll. It was my first time to be included in something like that. In the midst of all the serious political questions, they asked my favorite baseball team, favorite football team, and whether I preferred KU or K-State. Pretty good way to keep some interested during a long computer-generated call.

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 2 months ago

There had to be a poll to know that Sam isn't popular? Wow...

Alyosha 5 years, 2 months ago

Four more years of damaging the state budget and acting in a way that most Kansans disklike?

Why on earth would that be a good thing for the governor of a state?

Unless you see government as a force for materially damaging a state's residents and citizens, your comment makes zero sense in the context of a democracy.

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

Let Sandy Praeger know you will support her.

If we just keep complaining and don't do anything, we will have Brownback until 2018. Doesn't matter how low his approval ratings go, if there is no other viable candidate, he will win. The ultra-crazies supporting him are highly motivated to vote because of fear. Fear is an excellent motivater.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

Yes, sadly, a straightforward reporting of the facts of a story (as we have here) has come to be seen as a liberal trait. If a reporter doesn't want to be lambasted as a "liberal" by self-identified conservatives, they need to be an unabashed Republican propagandist like Rush or Fox News.

Alyosha 5 years, 2 months ago

Laughably inane comment having nothing to do with the story.

Could you even define "liberal," WristTwister, in the context of political philosophy since the Enlightenment? (You do realize that the Founders were "liberal," do you not?)

Or articulate what in this story qualifies it as having a "liberal bias"?

I doubt it, would bet that you can't, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 2 months ago

Sam has taken more welfare than a whole block of typical folks ~ in the name of subsidies for his evidently poorly-managed family farm. Why do you accept this kind of mooching? You must embrace dependency from the top down.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

I think we're another election cycle away from a return to sanity in Kansas. Brownback and the other minions of the Koch Bros. will have to completely finish marginalizing the Republican Party as a far-right fringe party, and destroying the institutions and social fabric of Kansas before the moderate majority in Kansas can coalesce around a sane and governing political coalition.

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

I disagree strongly. The ultra-extreme right will be re-elected unless we put up viable candidates---which the Kansas Democratic Party doesn't seem to be interested in doing. I received an email asking for money to help defeat Pat Roberts in the next election. I declined---defeating someone without a candidate isn't possible and that is what I told them.

elliottaw 5 years, 2 months ago

Actually he is trying to get rid of those checks and balances and being as he and his funders own the houses everything is passing. But we can just wait out his turn and have this conversation in a few years, the picture will be crystal clear than.

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

The picture is already crystal clear, but when the checks and balances are gone, it will be much harder for Kansas to recover.

jonas_opines 5 years, 2 months ago

@elliottaw: Surely you recognize the pointlessness of attempting to engage in a debate with somebody who preemptively labels political opposition as baby killing, Constitution hating, anti-Christian loon(s).

The rest of his posts are equally as vapid.

ATR920 5 years, 2 months ago

Koch's live in NYC and Brownback will go back to Florida when he is done being Gov. This isnt their state, they have bussiness intrest in KS but it isnt "their" state. As for checks-n-balances you must not pay close attention. Brownback is trying to get rid of the courts...

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 2 months ago

Really now??? Is this news???? Brownbackwards unpopular??????

Damn ........!! What a revelation!!!

Don't tell the people west of Topeka, their religious idol is tarnished.

The emporer has no clothes.

Who voted for this guy?????????

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 2 months ago

Some of us will get the last laugh when many of you will have to go back to work. The state needs to eleminate all the freebies to able bodied people and get them into a place where they can be a maker instead of a taker.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 2 months ago

Sam should be the first to surrender his "freebies." And maybe it's time YOU went back to work ~ unless supplicance and fealty to your overlords IS your job. Just because you can post drivel on the internet, doesn't mean you should.

Alyosha 5 years, 2 months ago

Deb Miller would make an excellent Governor to replace the clearly flailing Brownback.

George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

Brownback doesn't stand a chance of being re-elected. I know conservative Republicans who think he's gone too far and regret voting for him. He has pissed off or alienated so many people I think that IF he made it through the primary he wouldn't win the election. It would go to the "anyone but Brownback" candidate.

chootspa 5 years, 2 months ago

He stands every chance of being reelected if there isn't a strong challenger.

George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

A warm body could run against him and win.

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

I respectfully disagree, at least I wouldn't count on it. We need to get out and work for another candidate.

George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

By the end of this legislative session when the budget is approved he's toast.

Katara 5 years, 2 months ago

But who? I hear wishes from folks about who they would like to run but I haven't heard anything about them actually going to run.

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

Katara, please see roadwarrier's comment below. I think we have to start taking this into our own hands. Paul Davis keeps posting about what's happening on his Facebook page---and allows comments. A good place to continue this conversation.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

Brownback does not care about approval ratings. His facist dictatorship is the agenda no matter what. This man is not a republican but more like Rt Wing Libertarian Neocon Fundamentalist Tea Partier for Economic Terrorism.

The poll information also reveals how little attention true republicans are paying to the person they elected. Then again that may be true about most voters.

The Brownback control teams have no more use for republicans than for democrats or any other thinkers that disagree with them. Democracy is not their game. Extreme corruption and deception ranks high within the right wing movement.

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

You are completely right, merrill. I wish people would read about Opus Dei and the C Street Cult and find out what Brownback really is about.

roadwarrior 5 years, 2 months ago

I sent Sandy Praeger an email encouraging her to run. Glad to see so many other people agree. I also called the Democratic Party Headquarters and begged them to get a candidate out there now ! They whined and cried about money but I told them, they have 2 years of free press to introduce and establish a candidate by simply commenting on each Brownback plan with one more sensible and having the press cover it. They hadn't thought about that. They said there are several potential candidates that aren't ready to step up yet. I asked them if Sebelius might send us a ringer to get established in the state but they hadn't thought about that either. Come on you guys, get creative !! I love the idea of democrats switching parties to vote in the primaries, that was brilliant ! Praeger could just go ahead and run as a Republican...and win !!

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

Thank you, roadwarrier. Unfortunately, your experience doesn't speak well of the leaders of the Kansas Democratic Party, but hopefully they will take your suggestions to heart.

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