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Poll: Trump has big lead over Clinton in Kansas; Brownback's approval rating worse than Nixon's


Kansans are sharply polarized over this year's presidential election, but Republican Donald Trump still leads Democrat Hillary Clinton by a substantial margin, according to a new poll out this week.

Still, there are signs that his numbers may be soft in Kansas, although Clinton's numbers show her doing no better than Democrats have done here over the last four presidential cycles.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of KSN News in Wichita, shows Trump leading Clinton 47-36 percent, with 8 percent supporting Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and 9 percent still undecided.

Since the 2000 election, Republican presidential candidates have averaged 59 percent of the vote in Kansas while Democrats have averaged 38.3 percent.

The SurveyUSA of 675 registered voters was conducted July 8-11 and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

The results were in sharp contrast to a John Zogby poll released last month that showed Clinton ahead, 43-36 percent.

"It (SurveyUSA) has more face validity than the Zogby poll, but whether that's a function of methodology or real world political change in the last month, we can't really know," Kansas University political science professor Patrick Miller said. "But Trump is up in a state that's usually safe for Republicans at the presidential level — no surprise. I think Trump is on course to win Kansas, even if he may win it by a lower margin than the typical Republican."

Among Trump supporters in the new poll, though, more than half (55 percent) said they are backing him because they oppose Clinton, and a similar number (54 percent) say they have some reservation about supporting him. Only 42 percent of Trump supporters said they are doing so because they are for Trump.

Clinton's supporters, on the other hand, were a little more firm in their convictions: 60 percent of her supporters say theirs is a vote for Clinton, while only 39 percent say it's a vote against Trump.

Overall, among "likely" voters in the survey, neither major candidate is very popular in Kansas: 41 percent said they view Trump favorably; and only 32 percent said they have a favorable view of Clinton.

But the split between parties showed a striking polarization among Kansas voters: 77 percent of Republican voters said they have an "extremely unfavorable" view of Clinton, and 77 percent of Democratic voters said they have an "extremely unfavorable" view of Trump.

Brownback and local Republicans

How bad are Gov. Sam Brownback's polling numbers? Here's one way to put it in perspective. Richard Nixon resigned from office with a higher approval rating (24%) than Gov. Brownback has in Kansas today (22%).

Granted, the science of public opinion polling has changed a lot in 42 years. And even if we assume both polls are accurate, the spread between Nixon and Brownback is well within both polls' margins of error.

Still, that could have a big impact on upcoming state legislative races. Because even though Brownback's name is not on the ballot, many observers say the legislative races are very much a referendum on his policies and on the incumbent Republican lawmakers who have supported them.

According to the poll, 72 percent of "likely" voters have an unfavorable view of Brownback, including 50 percent who said it's "extremely unfavorable." Even among Republican voters, 57 percent said they have an unfavorable view of him.

"Brownback is not on the ballot in name," Miller said, "but just like a presidential midterm is often about how voters perceive the president, this 2016 legislative midterm could very well be about how Kansas voters perceive the governor independent of anything going on at the national level."

That could be a particular problem in the Kansas City area, where a large number of conservatives who have been in Brownback's camp are facing primary challenges from more moderate Republicans. According to SurveyUSA, that's also the one area of the state where Clinton is leading Trump, by 5 percentage points.

"This is a potential danger to Republicans in state legislative races if Democrats can effectively make specific races about him," Miller said. "I think we're seeing Republicans aware of this danger. Few are embracing him in their campaign messages, and we see a lot of incumbent Republicans cherry picking particular votes to make it look like there is some distance between themselves and Brownback."


Brett McCabe 1 year, 8 months ago

It's not inconceivable that Hillary could win this state. A long, long shot? Sure. But so was Buster Douglas, Holly Holm, the Royals and on and on. We need all democrats to get out and vote for Hillary, and we need independent voters to make a choice: do you want a loud, rude, mediocre businessman to run the country and select your next Supreme Court justice?

If so, vote for him or the Green Party, of the Libertarian party and it may just come true.

What if this election is close and it comes down to a few electoral votes? What if Kansas went blue and decided the whole thing? It'd be a great story and a good ending.

Justin Hoffman 1 year, 8 months ago

Thanks for making me spit out my lunch in laughter while reading your comment. Off to make another sandwich.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 8 months ago

Based on your previous posts, I'm actually surprised that you know how to make a sandwich. Good for you!

Barb Gordon 1 year, 8 months ago

It was one of the conditions his mom required in order for him to keep living in her basement.

Scott Burkhart 1 year, 8 months ago

Barb I can't help but notice that all you do is glom on to someone's post and make snarky comments. That's pretty pathetic.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 8 months ago

Scott, I can't help but notice that your attempts at snark are along the lines of comments like, "I am now stupider for reading this article" and calling people "haters." That's a little more pathetic. If you're worried about either the tone or style of my posting, do try to provide a better example. If you can.

Scott Burkhart 1 year, 8 months ago

Barb, my rants and LTEs are well known and plentiful. You, however, are the quintessential thread troll that never has a constructive opinion, only crap like stating that someone lives in their mother's basement. If I think you are a hater, and I think you are, then I will say so. Just like if you think someone lives in their mother's basement you will say, whether they truly do or not. Your entries are devoid of any cognizant thought and I am stupider for having read them.

Rick Masters 1 year, 8 months ago

Oh, the irony of using "Billy Madison" quotes around here.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 8 months ago

Yes, your LTEs are plentiful, but that makes them neither well-known nor authoritative. Anyone can write LTEs. Nobody is required to do so. I participate in public debate in my own way. As you once said, "The purpose of public debate should be to convince the audience, not silence your opponent." Calling people names and engaging in tone arguments is an attempt to silence your opponent. Don't be a hypocrite.

I showed Justin, someone who doesn't write LTEs and generally just shows up in threads in a city newspaper where he doesn't even live to make negative comments (I believe you'd call that a "quintessential thread troll"), the same respect and kindness he's shown me. I've tried debating theology with him, but it's pretty obvious that he has no deep understanding of it, and he's more interested in resorting to rather boring ad hominems. I'm hoping someday he he learns to be clever. It is rather interesting that you take umbridge with my behavior and not his. By "interesting," I mean "hypocritical."

If I intimidate you enough that you "feel stupider for having read my posts," I suggest that there's an easy solution. Stop reading them.

Michael Kaufman 1 year, 8 months ago

It should be easy for Kansas voters to see what a GOP lead government could do for America. They just have to look at their state. Employment is stagnant. Taxes are so low that the state can't even pay it's bills. They are cutting funding for education (primary and secondary). They are cutting funding for all the state collages. The Koch brothers are the real government in Kansas. Teachers are leaving the state, because pay and job security are non existent. Republicans really want this for the rest of the nation?

Nick Naidenov 1 year, 8 months ago

A race between a power hungry pathological lair and an egotistical bigot both fueled by corruption. Two sides of the same coin and yet you judge people for picking heads instead of tails.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

Ever since Gore lost... the strategy has become intimidate voters into believing should they vote for the better candidate say instead of Clinton then the DNC will fail.

That does not say much for the DNC. People really need to think for themselves rather than allow political party leadership to do so.

Obviously the GOP party leadership is a failure. And the DNC party leadership has taken themselves quite dramatically to the right with help from the Clintons. https://samsmitharchives.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/6467/

So the only hope for the nation as I see it is through Progressive Democrats of America,The Green Economically Sound Party Platform and the sane old school moderate republicans who need a place to go.

Caving in to the ALEC GOP and ALEC DLC DNC makes zero sense to me.

Kendall Simmons 1 year, 8 months ago

Actually, you are making zero sense to me.

Babbling about party platforms as if they are promises that will be kept if a particular party wins merely demonstrates (to me) that it is you who have not thought for yourself.

And as evidence of how bad the Democrats are? You cite a blog post by the founder of the Green Party who cites HIMSELF blaming "the Clintons" in a book HE wrote in 1992...while only casually mentioning Bill 3 times from his year of being chair of the DLC (1990-91) and NEVER mentioning Hillary or the Clintons as a team??? Oh, yeah. Some evidence. You've got ME convinced...NOT.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 8 months ago

This explains a lot.

The fans of the braying jack ass are preferred to a very experienced and competent candidate in Hillary Clinton.

This explains in full why we have such a mess in Topeka, a governor who has bankrupted the state by selling out to the Koch Industries Fascist Regime for campaign donations and attack ads at anything resembling the hated black, Muslim, non-citizen President of the United States. Obama has been a very good and reasonable president, but the stupid idiots in Kansas who are apposed to this black fellow are the reason our state government is in such chaos.

Phillip Chappuie 1 year, 8 months ago

It stills amazes me how a bigoted, bombastic, bullying, reality TV star can insult so many demographics and display a level of ignorance of policy and people and still be so popular with the good citizens. It speaks very poorly of us as a civilized nation that such a court jester with bad hair can do that.

Armen Kurdian 1 year, 8 months ago

Likewise, how a lying, conniving, fake, power-hungry woman, who was a miserable Secretary of State by any standard could poll above zero. A woman who cares only for power and being President and no love for country vying for the highest office in the land.

To your point, they both suck. Most folks are going to be voting for the one they think sucks less, which is saying almost nothing. It's depressing.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 8 months ago

Yes, it would be amazing if such a fictional character as what you describe could poll above zero.

Scott Burkhart 1 year, 8 months ago

Here's another one. You must be a miserable human being.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 8 months ago

Yes. Here's another one... for you. Do you see how you're neither elevating the tone nor the intelligence of discourse with a simple ad hominem? I'll take it to mean that you agree with my assessment that his characterization was pure hyperbole.

Scott Burkhart 1 year, 8 months ago

You may infer whatever you wish. I think you've made it clear the level of discourse that you cannot attain. Oh, by the way, I'm rubber you're glue. Whatever you say about me bounces off and sticks to you. I put that on a 1st grade level so you would understand. That's an example of your level of discourse.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 8 months ago

There's no inference needed. You're clearly derailing an argument you're losing. Let me spell it out for you. I responded that his description was fictional. You responded that I was miserable. You don't see how you lowered the tone immediately just then? Rather than attacking my argument, you attacked me. And then you got even more agitated when I pointed it out and descended into this grade school nonsense. I've toddlers lose arguments more gracefully.

Ray Bell 1 year, 8 months ago

Elect Gray Johnson. If all the Republicans who do not like Trump and all the Democrats who do not like Clinton vote for Johnson he will be a shoo-in.

Kendall Simmons 1 year, 8 months ago

And if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 8 months ago

Too bad I don't like Johnson. At least he walked back his claim that he'd ban the burqa if he were president. Now he just makes less obviously unconstitutional Islamophobic statements.

Richard Neuschafer 1 year, 8 months ago

David Koch ran as the VP candidate of the Libertarians in 1980. The Koch family had been very active in the Libertarian Party until they bought the Republican Party (with the so-called "tea party"). The Kochs still have many ties to the Libertarian Party.

I never have liked their extremist platform over the years anyway. They basically want to cut the federal government way beyond what Brownback has done to Kansas. Do away with the Department of Education, the National Security Agency, and the IRS for starters. So I will definitely pass on voting for any of their candidates (yet again).

Charles Wolfe 1 year, 8 months ago

Trump is Brownbeck on steroids. Bombastic, arrogant, egotistical, racist, sexist, favors the rich over the poor & middle class. Looks at people as property instead of human beings.

Jerry Stubben 1 year, 8 months ago

Ike, the greatest hero Kansas ever produced, would hang Trump, Brokeback and all the right wing Nazi traitors who have taken over the Grand OLD Party for treason......and their followers.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

Hilary may well be a shoo in however she needs to know that NOT everyone is excited about her becoming president and that many will be watching.

For I fear the promises she has made to carry a moderate torch by insistence from the Bernie reps will be thrown under the bus once she has secured her chair in the white house.

Voting my conscience is as patriotic as questioning authority!

Neither Bernie's campaign nor the Green Party campaign have ever been buried by the stinky money of the 1% such that the ALEC GOP and DLC DNC have come to be known for.

One answer to our political problems : CUT OFF special interest financing of elections.

I say replace all republicans aka RINO's with green party thinkers and 90% of DNC democrats with new PDA democrats each voting cycle.

Why do we americans vote in the rich which are supported by the rich to make decisions for the entire upper middle class, middle class and low income? Hey middle class republicans you too are getting duped make no mistake about it.

Lets’s demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : http://www.fairvote.org/irv/

Demand a change on the next ballot.

Incumbents, famous political names say NO to the voters, live in glass houses and digest corrupt money.

We need public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue. http://www.publicampaign.org/

Chuck Holder 1 year, 8 months ago

Well just remember these are the same people who voted for brownback not once but twice. So take it with a grain of salt. Besides who gets polled? Old men with landlines?

Rod Williamson 1 year, 8 months ago

To be fair, Brownback got just under 50% of the vote. The Dem got 47% and the Independent got 3%. So at least half of us are reasonable and we very nearly prevented this disaster

Richard Neuschafer 1 year, 8 months ago

Not surprised at all regarding the poll numbers on the presidential race. Kansas voters would vote for a Hitler/Mussolini ticket if it had an "R" next to it. And they would win big if they said they were Reagan Republicans. Kansas has some of the most brainwashed and least educated and informed voters in the country.

Art Meincke 1 year, 8 months ago

Kansas is a failing state in the 50 states of the USA. Always regressive because of its religious notions and beliefs. Nothing fails like Kansas across the board.

Rod Williamson 1 year, 8 months ago

Shock! The same fools that have subjected me to Brownback and have lived with the reality of how badly GOP ideas work are fully in the camp of Trump.

Michael Kort 1 year, 8 months ago

Brownback UNPOPULAR ? NO ! ! !

Kris Koback likes him, 330,000 LLCs like him, the Kochs maybe used to like him, before his numbers slipped..........and don't forget the legislature........well, maybe it is every rat for themselves down there ?

Sure Kansas thinks trump is their man......he's the new Sam.......and a reality tv star .

Steve Jacob 1 year, 8 months ago

Sure I said this before, but these Plains and Western states could get "weird". Places where Sanders and Cruz won easy. 40% might win a state.

Larry Hazard 1 year, 8 months ago

So what you're saying is that Hillary is so unpopular in Kansas her running in November may even get Brownback reelected?

Gregory Charles 1 year, 8 months ago

Kansas? Gee, why am I not surprised? I mean come on, those folks would vote to cut their own arms off if they were told by the Koch Bros. it was going to create jobs...

Maddy Griffin 1 year, 8 months ago

Not surprising. Kansas has a long history of voting against it's best interests.

Doug Larson 1 year, 8 months ago

This makes no sense. The majority of Kansans don't like Brownback, yet they do like Trump???? Voting for Trump is the same as voting for Brownback only at the Federal level.

Tony Peterson 1 year, 8 months ago

They're polling numbers from different polls. It's like trying to compare a bag of grapefruit with a bag of ballpoint pens.

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