KSN Poll shows Orman ahead of Roberts in race for U.S. Senate

KSN News Poll results for October 7, 2014

WICHITA, Kansas — With four weeks until the election, the race for U.S. Senate in Kansas continues to gain national attention because the entire Senate could be up for grabs.

The latest KSN News Poll, conducted by SurveyUSA exclusively for KSN-TV, released Tuesday shows Independent Greg Orman leading incumbent Republican Senator Pat Roberts 47 percent to 42 percent. Seven percent of the voters remained undecided. The margin of error is +/- 4.3 percent.

The last KSN poll conducted a month ago was after Secretary of State Kris Kobach ruled that Democrat Chad Taylor could not take his name off the ballot. Back then, while offering respondents a chance to still vote for the withdrawn Taylor, the KSN News Poll unveiled Orman 1 percent ahead of Roberts, 37 percent to 36 percent, with Taylor at 10 percent. Without Taylor on the ballot, Orman is up 10 percent, Roberts is up 6 percent.

KSN Political Analyst Jeff Jarman says Roberts has really been on the move.

Roberts has been shaking up campaign staff, and he recently brought in several national Republicans to stump for his campaign. They included Senator John McCain, former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and former Kansas Senator Bob Dole.

“The advertising has been very aggressive against Orman and still we see Orman increasing his overall vote count and now with a lead over Roberts.”

Jarman says it is a message of change that has worked well for Orman.

“Orman has been very good about staying on message. His message the entire campaign has been about independent and a new and fresh perspective. And we see him repeating those themes quite often.”

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Click image for poll breakdown

The latest KSN poll shows that Roberts holds 66 percent of the Republican base. Orman, who declines to say whether he would caucus with Democrats or Republicans if elected, draws support from 71 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of Independents, and 27 percent of Republicans.

Voters say jobs are the most important issue in the Senate race. Orman leads Roberts on that issue by 32 percent. On the issue of Obamacare, Roberts leads Orman by 32 percent.

In greater Wichita, Roberts leads Orman by 17 percent. In greater Topeka and Kansas City, Orman leads Roberts by 20 percent and 22 percent.

KSN reached out to both the Roberts and Orman campaigns on Tuesday, seeking answers to these specific policy questions.

Corry Bliss, Sen. Roberts’ campaign manager, responded to KSN with the following statement:

“The choice in this election is clear.  A vote for Senator Roberts is a vote for a Republican majority that will break the Harry Reid gridlock and stop the Obama agenda. A vote for Greg Orman is a vote to hand the future of Kansas and the country to Harry Reid and Barack Obama.  Kansas voters are beginning to see that, and we are confident that on election day the people of Kansas will reject Greg Orman as the Obama-Reid Democrat he is.”

Jim Jonas, Greg Orman’s campaign manager, responded to KSN with the following statement:

“Kansans know Washington is broken, and they know Senator Roberts is part of the problem there. They want someone who will solve problems, not play the same tired political games. That’s why Kansans are supporting businessman Greg Orman’s independent campaign for Senate.”

Sen. Roberts’ answers to KSN policy questions:

1. Jobs and the economy again top the list of priorities for voters. Unemployment rates are higher in Wichita than the national average. What would you do to bring jobs back to Wichita?

“Barack Obama and Harry Reid are killing the Kansas economy. Job creators are drowning in too many taxes, too many regulations, and not enough certainty to plan ahead. My opponent would be just another vote for Obama and Reid. The best thing we can to bring jobs to Wichita is deliver a Republican Senate majority. If Kansas leads the way, elects me, and delivers a Republican Senate majority, we will reform the tax code, roll back regulations, and pass a pro-jobs, pro-growth agenda. We will break the gridlock and allow our job creators to plan and grow again.”

2. The number of undecided voters has been fairly stagnant since we began polling in June, hovering around 7 percent today and at 6 percent a month ago. Why do you think these voters appear to be disinterested in this election?

“Kansans are fed up with the Obama agenda and the gridlock caused by Harry Reid. We need to break that gridlock, and elect a Republican Senate majority. I promise Kansas this, my first vote will be to sideline Harry Reid, break the gridlock and establish a Republican majority. My opponent is just another Barack Obama Harry Reid Democrat. He will support more of the same failed Obama-Reid policies we have seen over the last six years. A vote for my opponent is a vote to hand over the future of Kansas and the country to Barack Obama and Harry Reid.”

3. Obamacare is a factor for about 26 percent of people in our survey who say they plan to vote in November. Both candidates say it is flawed. What, specifically, would you do to change it?

“This is a clear distinction in this race, I will repeal and replace Obamacare – my opponent will not. I will repeal Obamacare and replace it with real health care reforms that bend the cost curve, restore the doctor patient relationship and make health insurance affordable for all. My opponent says he is not a “repeal and replace politician.” That is because my opponent is an Obama-Reid Democrat who will not repeal Obamacare.”

Corry Bliss, Sen. Roberts’ campaign manager, responded to KSN with the following answers to these specific policy questions.

 

Ormans’ answers to KSN policy questions:

1. Jobs and the economy again top the list of priorities for voters. Unemployment rates are higher in Wichita than the national average. What would you do to bring jobs back to Wichita?

Washington is broken, and the lack of action to help create jobs is the most glaring example. Greg released a five-part plan to get Washington working for small businesses and encourage job growth. Greg has created jobs and built successful businesses his whole career, and knows how to get things done. Kansans are tired of Sen. Roberts watching from Washington while jobs pull out of Wichita. They want someone like Greg who will go to Washington to solve problems to fix our economy.

2. The number of undecided voters has been fairly stagnant since we began polling in June, hovering around 7 percent today and at 6 percent a month ago. Why do you think these voters appear to be disinterested in this election?

Republicans, Democrats and independents are frustrated by the continued failure of Washington politicians to get anything done for the American people. That’s why so many people are supporting Greg – because they know he’s an independent problem solver with real world experience as a businessman.

3. Obamacare is a factor for about 26 percent of people in our survey who say they plan to vote in November. Both candidates say it is flawed. What, specifically, would you do to change it?

I opposed Obamacare and would have voted against it in part because it did not address affordability and costs. We had a healthcare affordability issue before the Affordable Care Act. We have a healthcare affordability issue today. As a small business owner I feel that issue every day.  We have to alter the incentives to providers to reward quality not quantity of care and ensure that our government as the largest purchaser of healthcare in the country is prudent with the dollars it spends.

The Methodology

SurveyUSA interviewed 775 Kansas adults from 10/02/14 through 10/05/14. Of the adults, 679 were registered to vote. Of those registered, 549 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote on or before the 11/04/14 general election.

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