WICHITA, Kansas – Although only two weeks remain before the August primary election, the latest KSN News Poll released Thursday reveals that all eyes are on the November General Election. The KSN News Poll is conducted exclusively for KSN-TV by SurveyUSA.
KSN political expert Jeff Jarman tells KSN that in a state that heavily votes Republican, we now have Republican seats in three statewide races that could be vulnerable to Democratic challengers; including the race for U.S. Senate, the Governor’s office, and Secretary of State. Further, in a state where the winner is most often decided in the primary election, it is unusual to see a tight race in the November general election.
The results of the statewide primary races in August likely won’t come as a surprise; most incumbents are expected to win their races.
“This primary season will go down, typically the way we expect. A lot of the incumbents have solidified their numbers,” said Jarman. The exception: the Republican primary race for Kansas’ 4th Congressional district between incumbent Mike Pompeo and Todd Tiahrt.
The race has tightened since the KSN News Poll was released in June. Pompeo led Tiahrt by 17 points last month. To date, it’s now down to only 7 points.
Poll results show Pompeo 46%, Tiahrt 39%. The margin of error in the poll is +/- 3.9 percent.
Data acquired in the KSN News Poll reveals that whoever wins the August primary should easily win the November election.
SurveyUSA interviewed 2,400 Kansan adults from July 17 – 22. 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.
SurveyUSA interviewed 2,400 Kansan adults from July 17 – 22. Of those, 2,079 were registered to vote. Of the number of people registered, 1,208 voters were determined to be likely to vote in the General Election on November 4.
U.S. Senate Race
Sen. Pat Roberts is running for reelection in the U.S. Senate and the race could be a close one, especially in November.
The latest KSN News Poll released Thursday shows likely voters support Republican Roberts leading Democrat Chad Taylor in a November election by only 5 points. That is a decrease of 5 points since June.
“So fascinating to watch. We now have, really, candidates who are within striking distance and without the need to get a majority, who knows who will win,” said Jarman.
Independent U.S. Senate candidate Greg Orman could also steal votes. Orman doubled his support from 7 to 14 points, from June to July.
“I think it speaks to the general level of dissatisfaction among politics in general in the state. First off, I think we can assume part of that is a protest vote,” said Jarman.
According to the latest KSN News Poll, Democratic challenger for governor Paul Davis is leading current Gov. Sam Brownback by 8 points. Davis leads Brownback 48% to 40% with a margin of error of +/- 2.9%. It’s a net 2 point loss for Brownback who was trailing Davis by 6 points in June.
Jarman says the race for Kansas governor will be decided in November.
“I think this race is going to be very close. The Governor, we should expect to see him push back and push back hard,” said Jarman.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback will likely sail through the August 5 primary with ease. Brownback is polling at 60%. Challenger Jennifer Winn is polling at 30%. The latest poll finds that Winn is down 7 points since June. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.7%.
Secretary of State Race
Kobach’s controversial new voter I.D. law has put Kansas in the national spotlight. Challenger Schodorf has put her opposition to the I.D. law at the forefront of her campaign.
When comparing the KSN News Poll from June to July however, not much has changed.
More than 1,200 likely voters were asked who they would vote for if the November election were held today. Kobach’s lead still sits at 6 points over Schodorf. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.9%.
“These are people who have had their rights taken away, legal citizens who have voted and their rights are taken away. We must fix that. And no two-tier voting, let citizens vote. But the other thing is audit the elections to make sure that there is no fraud… to have a baseline of what is happening at the elections. It’s not happening today,” said Schodorf.
We also reached out to Kobach who defended his voter I.D. law.
“Once a non-citizen gets on our voter rolls, there’s no way to take them off. In most instances, you’re never going to discover which of the 1.7 million people are not U.S. citizens. There’s no magic button you can press, and so that’s why you have to do it on the front end; you have to when a person gets on the voter rolls in the first place. Just do a quick check to make sure they’re a U.S. citizen and it’s working out really well,” said Kobach.