Undecided voter population increases in race for U.S. Senate

Greg Orman and Senator Pat Roberts (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – With election day quickly approaching, rather than seeing a decrease in the number of undecided voters across Kansas, in the race for U.S. Senate, the number of undecided voters has actually increased.

According to the final KSN News Poll, conducted by SurveyUSA exclusively for KSN-TV, 10 percent of voters surveyed (including 21 percent of young voters) remain undecided. That number is up from 7 percent in the KSN News Poll conducted just three weeks ago.

The latest poll data, released Tuesday, shows that Independent challenger Greg Orman and incumbent Republican Senator Pat Roberts are nearly tied. Orman has a slight lead at 44 percent to Roberts’ 42 percent.

The margin of error is +/- 4.0 percent.

In July, the KSN News Poll revealed Orman had only 7 percent of the vote. To date, in the latest KSN News Poll released Tuesday, he’s taken the lead with 44 percent.

However, for the first time in any KSN News Poll this election season, Orman’s numbers have actually dropped slightly, down three points from poll numbers three weeks ago. On October 7, Orman polled 47 percent among likely voters.

KSN’s Craig Andres sat down with legal analyst, Jeff Jarman, to evaluate the shift.

“I don’t know that there’s any one particular thing that has moved the needle, as much as a cumulative effect of so much coverage, so much scrutiny, so much advertising,” said Jarman.

The latest KSN News Poll also reveals that, among those likely voters who say they are liberal, 84 percent are for Orman.

For those likely voters who consider themselves moderate, 60 percent are for Orman, compared to only 25 percent for Roberts.

In the conservative camp, 79 percent support Roberts.

Jarman says the numbers are telling.

“There is no doubt Roberts has been working very hard to undo that effort and to change that frame. He has positioned Orman as a liberal, [an] Obama-supporter from the beginning,” said Jarman.

The race is a statistical dead heat, according to the KSN News Poll, which means control of the U.S. Senate could still hinge on Kansas.

“We don’t know how those other Senate races are going to come out. Those are all tightening as well, so each of these states could be the difference in control of the U.S. Senate,” explained Jarman.

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