Early poll shows Moran-Tiahrt Senate race ‘essentially tied’

Rep. Jerry Moran’s Senate campaign claimed a fundraising victory last week over Rep. Todd Tiahrt in their race for the 2010 GOP nomination.

But results of a SurveyUSA poll conducted over the weekend for KCTV in Kansas City and KWCH in Wichita show “the race is essentially tied.”

Moran received support from 39 percent of voters in the poll and tiahrt received 35 percent. About 26 percent of voters were undecided.

But the numbers in the Moran-Tiahrt contest suggest a tight race among several types of voters as both candidates try to rebuild their statewide profiles after serving several terms in the House. Moran, of Hays and a Kansas University graduate, represents the state’s massive First District of western and north-central Kansas. Tiahrt, of Goddard and a former Boeing employee, represents the Wichita area and southeastern Kansas.

Moran received more support among northeastern and western Kansas voters, and Tiahrt had the edge in voters from the southeastern part of the state.

Moran received support from 42 percent of voters who are 50 or older compared to 33 percent for Tiahrt. Tiahrt had a 37 percent to 35 percent edge among voters ages 18 to 49.

Another indication of how close and how early it is in the race, Tiahrt received more support from voters who labeled themselves more conservation but also ones who said they were more liberal. Moran had a 45 percent to 20 percent lead among moderate voters.

The two House members are both running for the seat currently held by Sen. Sam Brownback, who is running for governor.

In that race, the same poll shows Brownback with a whopping 64 percent to 17 percent lead over Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh.