Governor behind in latest KSN News Poll

KSN News Poll results for June 25th, 2014

WICHITA, Kansas – Four months out and the KSN News Poll shows sitting Kansas Governor Sam Brownback losing to his Democratic challenger, Paul Davis in the November General Election. In that race, Davis leads Brownback 47% to 41% with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

That’s the big headline from our new, exclusive, KSN News Poll.

For the August 5th Primary, the KSN News Poll shows Brownback easily securing the nomination over challenger Jennifer Winn 55% to 37% with a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

Also on the Primary side, no incumbent appears to be threatened in contests for Senator and Secretary of State but strong general election challengers may make for an exciting Fall.

“This is certainly going to be an exciting Governor’s race,” says KSN political analyst Jeff Jarman. “It’s not unheard of for a Democrat to be leading a sitting incumbent Republican Governor. And the latest poll results show voters are very interested in this race.”

Jarman says the challenger in the Governor’s race, Democrat Paul Davis, has extensive experience and that helps with name recognition.

“But this race appears to be about so much more than name recognition,” says Jarman. “Voters are asking about fiscal policy. They are asking about education policy. They are asking about jobs. It will be interesting to see how the Governor starts messaging following this scientific, non-partisan poll and the results we are seeing.”

The latest KSN News Poll offers very comprehensive coverage, starting with August Primary questions.

Click here for KSN News Poll Primary question results
Click here for KSN News Poll Primary question results

August Primary questions (see results)

On the Republican Primary ballot questions, survey respondents put the incumbent ticket of Governor Sam Brownback and Jeff Colyer leading the challenger ticket of Jennifer Winn and Robin Lais. For U.S. Senator, incumbent Pat Roberts is expected to defeat challenger Milton Wolf. And for Secretary of State, respondents would choose incumbent Kris Kobach over challenger Scott Morgan.

On the Democratic Primary ballot question of U.S. Senator, the survey respondents chose Chad Taylor over Patrick Wiesner 41% to 16%, but a plurality of likely voters, 43%, remain undecided, making any outcome possible.

Looking ahead to the 11/04/14 General Election (see results)

Brownback is fighting for his life with Democratic challengers Paul Davis and Jill Docking leading the former U.S. Senator and current Governor, 47% to 41% in our poll. One in four registered Republicans today defect and vote for the Davis/Docking Democratic ticket. By contrast, Davis/Docking holds 89% of the Democratic base.

Independents break Democratic by 19 points. Brownback’s strength among men, where he leads Davis by a nominal 1 point, cannot overcome the Democratic ticket’s strength among women, where Davis/Docking leads by 14 points.

Click here for General Election question results
Click here for General Election question results

In the Governor contest, voters are focused on tax rates and education funding. Those who say tax rates are most important vote Republican by 16 points. Those who say education funding is most important vote Democratic by 54 points. Brownback has 5 months to consolidate his support.

In the contest for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Pat Roberts, Roberts defeats likely Democratic nominee Taylor 43% to 33% in our poll. Third-party candidates take 12% of the vote today and another 12% are undecided. Roberts is above 50% in rural Western Kansas but below 50% elsewhere. Roberts leads among men and women, and leads in every age group. But combined, Roberts’ three opponents have more support than he does.

In the Senate contest, voters are focused on the economy and health care. Those who say health care is most important back Roberts 3:1. Those who say that the economy is most important back Taylor 4:3.

In the Secretary of State contest, the KSN News Poll indicates that incumbent Republican Kris Kobach will narrowly edge Jean Schodorf, 47% to 41%. Kobach appeals to conservatives, where he leads 9:1 but Schodorf has significant strength among moderates where she leads by 38 points. Kobach holds 70% of the Republican base, but Schodorf holds 80% of the Democratic base. Independents in this contest break Democratic 4:3.

In the Secretary of State contest, voters are focused on immigration, where Kobach has a 41 point advantage.


This poll was conducted by telephone in the voice of a professional announcer. Respondent households were selected at random, using Random Digit Dialed (RDD) sample provided by Survey Sampling, of Fairfield CT. All respondents heard the questions asked identically.

The pollster’s report includes the geography that was surveyed; the date(s) interviews were conducted, the number of respondents who answered each question and the theoretical margin of sampling error for each question. Where necessary, respondents were weighted using the most recent US Census estimates for age, gender, ethnic origin and region, to align the sample to the population.

In theory, one can say with 95% certainty that the results would not vary by more than the stated margin of sampling error, in one direction or the other, had the entire universe of respondents with home telephones been interviewed with complete accuracy. There are other possible sources of error in all surveys that may be more serious than sampling error. These include: the difficulty of interviewing respondents who do not have a home telephone; the refusal by some with home telephones to be interviewed; the order in which questions are asked; the wording of questions; the way and extent to which data are weighted; and the manner in which specialized populations, such as likely voters, are determined. It is difficult to quantify the errors that may result from these and other factors.

Research methodology, questionnaire design and fieldwork for this survey were completed by SurveyUSA of Clifton, NJ. This statement conforms to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.


SurveyUSA interviewed 2,200 state of Kansas adults 06/19/14 through 06/23/14. Of the adults, 1931 were registered to vote. Of the registered, 508 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 08/05/14 Republican Primary, 252 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 08/05/14 Democratic Primary. 1,068 voters were determined to be likely to vote in the 11/04/14 General Election.

This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone were shown a survey on their laptop, tablet, smartphone or other electronic device.

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