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Poll: Brownback trailing Davis; Roberts opens wide lead
A new poll of likely Kansas voters shows Republican Gov. Sam Brownback trailing Democrat Paul Davis by six percentage points, although neither candidate has yet broken the 50-percent mark.
The SurveyUSA poll shows Davis leading Brownback, 47-41 percent, with one in four self-identified Republican voters indicating they will cross party lines and vote for Davis.
The poll also showed Republican Sen. Pat Roberts with a 2-1 lead over Tea Party challenger Milton Wolf, while Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach enjoys a wide lead over his primary challenger Scott Morgan, of Lawrence, 61-29 percent.
"It's encouraging to hear what people across Kansas are saying," said Davis campaign spokesman Chris Pumpelly. "We're working hard to build a coalition of Republicans, independents and Democrats."
But Brownback campaign manager Mark Dugan said SurveyUSA has been inaccurate in past races in Kansas, including a 2012 ballot issue in Wichita about fluoridating public water.
"We're confident that once Kansans learn the record of Gov. Brownback as well as (House) Minority Leader Davis, they're going to make Sam Brownback successful in November," Dugan said.
The poll in the governor's race sampled 1,068 likely voters. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Those supporting Brownback listed tax rates (52 percent) and job creation (55 percent) as the most important issues to them. But 73 percent of those supporting Davis listed education as their top priority.
It also showed Brownback polling strongly in western Kansas, where he leads Davis, 52-36 percent. But Davis outperformed Brownback in Wichita, Kansas City and eastern Kansas.
For the GOP primary race for U.S. Senate, the poll sampled 508 likely GOP primary voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. It showed Roberts ahead of Wolf, 56-23 percent.
Roberts is a three-term incumbent who represented the Big First district of western Kansas before he was elected to the Senate in 1996. The poll showed his support especially strong in western Kansas, where he leads Wolf by 67 percent to 17 percent.
Roberts' weakest area of support is in the Kansas City area, where he holds only a 43-30 percent lead, with 16 percent of Kansas City-area voters still undecided.
He also polled at more than 50 percent among self-described conservatives and across all income brackets and levels of education.
Those polled in the Senate primary race listed jobs and the economy (63 percent) and Obamacare (57 percent) as the top issues in the race.
On the Democratic side of the Senate race, the poll showed Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor is still struggling to gain name recognition. He leads in the Democratic primary over Lawrence attorney Patrick Wiesner, 41-16 percent, with 43 percent of likely Democratic primary voters still undecided.
In other races, the SurveyUSA poll showed:
• In a hypothetical match-up in the general election, Roberts leads both Taylor (43-33 percent) and Wiesner (45-29 percent). But if Wolf were the Republican nominee for Senate, Taylor leads 36-33 percent, with 18 percent undecided. Wiesner trails in a hypothetical match-up with Wolf, 30-36 percent.
• In the general election for secretary of state, Democrat Jean Schodorf trails both Republican candidates: 41-47 percent against Kobach; and 39-44 percent against Morgan.