Kansas officials and Kansas courts having at last determined what the ballot will look like in the 11/04/14 general election, Kansas voters say “no” to a 4th term in the US Senate for incumbent Republican Pat Roberts, according to SurveyUSA research conducted for KSN-TV in Wichita. Today, 4 weeks until votes are counted, it’s unknown independent Greg Orman 47%, Roberts 42%. The national implications of the Kansas Senate race, and which party will control the US Senate in the next Congress, overshadow what in any other year would be a much more high-profile possible upset, and that’s the fight for Governor of Kansas.
In the Senate contest, KSN-TV’s most recent poll was 30 days ago, in the middle of turmoil: just 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 Back then, while offering respondents a chance to still vote for the withdrawn Taylor, SurveyUSA found Orman 1 point ahead of Roberts, 37% to 36%, with Taylor at 10%. Today, without Taylor on the ballot, Orman is up 10 points, Roberts is up 6 points. Then, Libertarian Randall Batson got 6% of the vote, today 4%.
Here’s how the political parties line up today: Roberts holds just 66% of the Republican base. Orman, who declines to say whether he would caucus with Democrats or Republicans if elected, draws support from 71% of Democrats, 61% of independents, and 27% of Republicans. Orman is backed by 17% of conservatives, 64% of moderates and 69% of liberals. Whether the 17% of conservatives who today tell SurveyUSA they will vote for Orman stay home on Election Day, or do something else on Election Day, may well determine the outcome of the contest.
Voters say that jobs are the most important issue in the Senate contest, and on that issue, Orman leads Roberts by more than 2:1. A smaller number of voters think that Obamacare is the most important issue in the Senate rate, and on that issue, Roberts leads Orman by 2:1. In greater Wichita, Roberts leads Orman by 17 points. In greater Topeka, Orman leads Roberts by 20 points. And in greater Kansas City KS, Orman leads Roberts by 22 points. Roberts leads narrowly among less affluent Kansans. Orman leads decisively among more affluent Kansans.
In the contest for Governor of Kansas, the Democratic challenger ticket of Paul Davis and Jill Docking leads the incumbent Republican ticket of Sam Brownback and Jeff Colyer 47% to 42%. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll one month ago, Brownback is up 2 points, Davis is flat. Brownback holds 66% of the Republican base (just as does Roberts). 27% of Democrats cross-over and vote Republican in the Governor’s race (just as 27% of Democrats do in the Senate race).
Brownback today leads in greater Wichita by 13 points, but trails in greater Kansas City KS by 17 points and trails in greater Topeka by 23 points. Voters tell SurveyUSA that education is the most important issue in the Governor race, and voters focused on education give Davis/Docking an eye-popping 50-point advantage on that issue. Voters who say that tax rates are most important give Brownback/Colyer at 31-point advantage on that issue. The Democratic ticket’s entire lead comes from women. The contest is tied among men. If Brownback survives on election day, it will be because men, down the stretch, rally to his side.
KSN-TV’s last look at the Secretary of State contest occurred during the 3 days immediately after incumbent Republican Kris Kobach inserted himself into the Senate fray. Then, SurveyUSA found Democratic challenger Jean Schodorf 3 points ahead of Kobach, 46% to 43%. Today, the contest has sea-sawed back to the Republican 48% to 43%. Schodorf is by no means out of contention; the contest could be the one on the ballot decided by the fewest votes.
Cell-phone respondents and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 775 state of KS adults 10/02/14 through 10/05/14. Of the adults, 679 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 549 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote on or before 11/04/14. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on their home telephones (74% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephones in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (26% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device. You must credit KSN-TV if you air, cite, or publish these results in whole or part.