WICHITA, Kansas – With two weeks remaining before the Republican Primary in Kansas’ 4th Congressional District, the race between incumbent Republican Mike Pompeo is tightening up with Todd Tiahrt, according to the KSN News Poll conducted exclusively for KSN-TV by SurveyUSA.
Wednesday’s poll results show Pompeo 46%, Tiahrt 39%. The margin of error in the poll is +/- 3.9 percent.
SurveyUSA interviewed 2,400 Kansan adults. Of those, 2,079 were registered to vote. Of the number of people registered, 691 were determined to be likely to vote in the Republican primary election on August 5.
In KSN’s last poll conducted in June, it showed Pompeo 51%, Tiahrt 34%. The margin of error in that poll is +/- 4.3 percent.
Tiahrt held the seat in his district until he resigned to run for the U.S. Senate in 2010. The winner of the August 5 primary will likely win the general election in November.
In the latest poll, Pompeo is still strong among conservatives where he leads Tiahrt by 15%.
Tiahrt does better with moderates, where they has been some change. He now leads Pompeo by 5%.
KSN political expert Jeff Jarman says one reason the gap has closed is Tiahrt recently entered the race. Jarman says the shift of likely moderate Republican voters supporting Tiahrt has helped close the gap.
“Tiahrt just got into the race five weeks ago. It’s been five weeks of campaigning and getting the message out we are seeing that it has changed some votes.”
Jarman says people care about more than name recognition.
He says this primary race showcases two candidates that are similar on some of the big issues like Obamacare.
In KSN’s poll, for voters who said Obamacare was the largest factor in casting their vote, Pompeo was leading with 46%. Tiahrt followed behind at 39%, among the same voters.
So, finding a difference on a particular issue could be just the ticket to more votes.
“NSA, immigration, Obamacare, jobs, and the economy. Those are all getting closer. I’ll be curious to see which of those the candidates pick up on,” added Jarman.
Jobs and the Economy
Jobs was the largest factor among voters surveyed in the KSN News Poll released on June 19, and remained the largest factor in the KSN News Poll released Wednesday, while Obamacare remained a strong factor, as well.
“Specifics is bonus depreciation on aircraft that would immediately increase sales for our aviation community. For the agricultural community, is to de-fund the EPA’s water regulations which is holding farmers back,” said Tiahrt.
In a written statement provided by Pompeo’s campaign manager, Jim Richardson, he said, “Mike Pompeo… authored and successfully passed the Small Airplane Revitalization Act through Congress with unanimous bipartisan support… He knows that the best way to create job growth is to get Washington boondoggles like Obamacare out of the way, and that’s why Kansans will continue to give him their support.”
The Affordable Care Act
The KSN News Poll revealed that for voters surveyed, jobs and the economy was the only issue that polled with a higher percentage than Obamacare when asked what factor is most important to voters in the race for Kansas’ 4th Congressional district.
From June to July, Pompeo has seen the number of his supporters drop who said that Obamacare is the most important factor in casting their vote in this election. Tiahrt’s support from voters who said that Obamacare is the most important factor has risen.
KSN asked both candidates what their plans are for Obamacare if they are elected.
“What I would do is put restrictions on the money. I would start with the IRS agents. We know that this President is not going to allow it to be overturned, but, what we don’t know is how we can refine it so it has some changes to it in the meantime. Yaking the IRS agents out of healthcare is a good first step and that’s what I want to do,” said Tiahrt.
Congressman Pompeo was not available for an on-camera interview with KSN News, however his campaign sent KSN the following statement: “He’s stayed true to his promise to fight to repeal Obamacare by voting against it every single time, and to stop the kinds of wasteful spending that have become too common in Washington.”
With the recent crisis at the U.S. – Mexico border involving thousands of children fleeing poverty and violence in Central and South America, the issue of immigration continues to be an important one among likely voters.
The KSN News Poll released in June showed Pompeo with a 39 point lead among viewers who said immigration was a major factor in their vote.
The KSN News Poll released Wednesday reveals that Tiahrt has cut that lead in half.
KSN asked Tiahrt and Pompeo what they plan to do about immigration if they are elected.
“The compassionate thing to do with the self-made crisis in the southern border is to turn the buses around and head them south. Reunite these children with their parents. Then we need to continue constructing the wall, either electronically or physically, make a barrier between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean and make sure that our border laws are enforced,” said Tiahrt.
The campaign manager for Mike Pompeo, Jim Richardson, sent KSN News the following statement, in regards to the incumbent’s stance concerning immigration: “Mike Pompeo is the only candidate in this race who has consistently opposed amnesty… Mike who, as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, is deeply concerned with the threat to our national security caused by illegal immigration and our unsecured borders. He’s been relentless in calling for enhanced border enforcement and ending the Obama administration’s continued failure to uphold the law.”
NSA Spying Scandal
Todd Tiahrt has raised the National Security Administration spy scandal as an issue in some of his campaign advertisements. KSN wanted to know if voters believed the scandal was a major factor in determining their vote.
Data released in the most recent KSN News Poll show that the spy scandal is not that important of an issue among voters.
Thirty-six percent of likely voters said it was a “major factor,” but a higher number said it was a “minor factor,” and 19% said it’s “not a factor at all.”
It is the issues that will ultimately decide who wins and not necessarily ideological differences.
Jarman says both Pompeo and Tiahrt will be looking to make a difference.
“These candidates are working very hard to magnify the differences that exist between them. And they’re pointing out those differences and trying to make them as meaningful as they can.”
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 900 registered voters from Kansas’ 4th Congressional District 07/17/14 through 07/21/14, using Registration Based Sample (RBS), which is also known as Voter List Sample, purchased from Aristotle in Washington DC. To qualify for inclusion, a household needed to have voted in at least one previous Congressional primary. Of the 900 registered voters, SurveyUSA determined that 671 were likely to vote in the 08/05/14 Primary.
This research was conducted 100% by telephone. 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 (also known as: cell-phone respondents), were called on their cell phones, by live operators, who hand-dialed the telephone, secured the respondent’s cooperation, conducted the interview, and remained on the line until the completion of the interview. You must credit KSN-TV if you cite these results.