LJWorld.com weblogs Elections 2014
Poll: Davis leads by 8; Senate race tightens
A new poll out shows Democrat Paul Davis leading incumbent Gov. Sam Brownback by eight percentage points, although neither candidate is yet polling above 50 percent.
It also shows the GOP primary for U.S. Senate tightening, although incumbent Pat Roberts still has a sizable lead over Tea Party-backed challenger Milton Wolf.
The automated poll by SurveyUSA was conducted July 17-22 for KSN-TV in Wichita. It sampled 1,208 likely voters in Kansas through automated phone calls to both land lines and cellphones, with a reported margin of sampling error of 2.8 percent.
It shows Brownback facing serious challenges in his bid for a second term in the governor's office. In the upcoming Aug. 5 primary, it shows little-known challenger Jennifer Winn getting support from 30 percent of likely primary voters. And in the Nov. 5 general election, it shows Davis leading, 48-40 percent.
The poll also showed a deep split between Davis and Brownback supporters over what they consider to be the most important issues in the race. Among those who think education funding is the top issue, 76 percent say they support Davis, compared with only 18 percent for Brownback.
Brownback leads by narrower margins among voters focusing on economic issues: 55-34 percent for those who think tax rates are most important; and 54-31 percent for those citing job recruitment as the most important.
In the Republican U.S. Senate primary, Roberts, a three-term incumbent, still holds a 50-30 lead over Wolf, but that's narrower than the last SurveyUSA poll, which showed him ahead by 33 points. That portion of the poll included 691 likely GOP primary voters with a margin of error of 3.8 percent.
And in a hypothetical match-up in November against Chad Taylor, the leading Democrat in the race, Roberts is ahead by only five points, 38-33 percent, with independent candidate Greg Orman polling at 14 percent, and 10 percent of the respondents still undecided.
In the Demcoratic primary in that race, Taylor, the Shawnee County District Attorney, leads Lawrence attorney Patrick Wiesner, 48-17 percent, among likely Democratic primary voters. That portion of the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percent.
But if Wolf should pull off an upset in the primary, the SurveyUSA poll says Democrats could win their first Senate race in Kansas since 1932. In that hypothetical match-up, Taylor is ahead, 34-33 percent, a statistical dead heat in a poll with a 3.7 percent margin of error.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach's support slipped substantially over the last month, but he still leads his GOP challenger Scott Morgan of Lawrence, 56-30 percent. Last month, Kobach was ahead 61-29 percent. In a November match-up with Democrat Jean Schodorf, the race is much tighter, with Kobach ahead 47-41 percent.