In KS, Pat Roberts’ Primary Lead Erodes, and Roberts’ November Prospects Are Complicated by Independent Orman; For Governor, Democratic Davis-Docking Ticket, Newly Backed by High Profile KS Republicans, Remains in Driver’s Seat

SurveyUSA Operations - 07/24/14 09:47 PM

Kansas Incumbent Republican Pat Roberts, hoping to sail to re-election to his fourth term in the US Senate, finds himself no longer able to take for granted the 08/05/14 Republican Primary, and, should he survive the primary, no longer able to guarantee a win in the November general election, according to SurveyUSA research conducted for KSN-TV in Wichita.

Roberts today leads conservative primary challenger Milton Wolf by 20 points. That’s substantial, but down from the 33-point lead that Roberts had 1 month ago, when SurveyUSA last polled this contest. There is little movement among conservative voters, where you might expect to find it. There is movement among moderates, where Wolf has halved Roberts lead poll-on-poll. There is also movement among voters age 50 to 64, where Roberts had led by 31 points, now 8.

Assuming Roberts dispatches Wolf in the primary, Roberts’ life is then complicated by Independent Greg Orman, who today takes 14% of the vote in a hypothetical general election match-up. 3 months till early voting in the 11/04/14 election begins, it’s Roberts 38%, Democrat Chad Taylor 33%, Orman at 14%, and Libertarian Randall Batson at 4%. Roberts holds just 59% of the Republican base. Orman gets 30% of the vote among Independents. Orman takes twice as many Republican votes (13%) as he takes Democratic votes (6%). Roberts is above 50% only in rural Western KS. He is at 43% in greater Wichita, 36% in greater Kansas City, and 33% in Eastern KS.

For Governor, Sam Brownback’s Kansas Experiment is slowly coming into the national spotlight. Today, in a hypothetical head-to-head-to-head, the incumbent Republican ticket of Brownback and Jeff Colyer trails the Democratic challenger ticket of Paul Davis and Jill Docking, 48% to 40%. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll conducted 1 month ago, Brownback is down 1 point, Davis is up 1 point. The governor’s race crosstabs reveal: the older you are, the less you like Sam Brownback. He trails by 20 points among seniors, trails by 13 points among those age 50 to 64. Only among voters under age 50 does Brownback have a nominal advantage. Among voters who say the most important issue in the Governor’s election is education funding, Davis-Docking lead 4:1. Among voters who say the most important issue in the Governor’s election is tax rates, Brownback-Colyer lead 5:3. Brownback holds 60% of the Republican base, compared to Davis, who holds 89% of the Democratic base. Independents break for the Democrat by 21 points – but, it’s important to point out that the Libertarian ticket of Keen Umbehr and Josh Umbehr takes 13% of Independent votes.

Cell-phone respondents and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 2,400 state of Kansas adults 07/17/14 through 07/22/14. Of the adults, 2,079 were registered to vote. Of the registered, 691 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 08/05/14 Republican Primary, 322 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 08/05/14 Democratic Primary. 1,208 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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