Saturday, February 22, 2014

Poll Shows Brownback, Roberts,and Kobach Vulnerable

A new poll from the respected Public Policy Polling shows that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Senator Pat Roberts, and Secretary of State Kris Kobach are all seriously lacking in popular appeal.


Here is what PPP says about Brownback

PPP's newest Kansas poll finds that Sam Brownback has continued to become even more unpopular in the last year, and that he slightly trails his Democratic opponent for reelection. Only 33% of voters in the state approve of the job Brownback is doing, compared to 51% who disapprove. That's down from a 37/52 spread when PPP last polled the state a year ago.
Brownback trails Democratic challenger Paul Davis for reelection by a 42/40 margin. Davis isn't particularly well known- only 41% of voters have an opinion about him one way or the other- so those numbers are more a referendum on Brownback than anything else. Davis leads largely because he is winning 23% of the GOP vote, a large amount of crossover support in this polarized political climate, while only 11% of Democrats plan to vote for Brownback.

“Kansas voters really don’t care for Sam Brownback and haven’t for some time now,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.
According to conventional political wisdom, an incumbent at 40% is in definite trouble and there is no reason to think that the PPP poll is an outlier.  Last October, SurveyUSA released a poll showing Brownback trailing Davis, who had just announced his candidacy.
Sam Brownback, who has served in Kansas as a Congressman, U.S. Senator, and now Governor, is in danger of being unseated after one term, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for KWCH-TV in Wichita. ...the Democratic ticket of Paul Davis and Jill Docking edges the Republican ticket of Brownback and Jeff Colyer, 43% to 39%.
Of those who voted for Brownback when he ran for Governor in 2010, just 59% stick with him in 2014, and 25% defect to the Democrats. Though today Brownback leads 2:1 among Republicans, he trails 11:1 among Democrats.
In early February, the GOP leaked an internal poll from
Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, [which] puts Brownback ahead of Democratic state House Minority Leader Paul Davis 42-31. If you're wondering why these mystery Republicans would leak a poll that has Brownback well below 50 and gives him middling 45-41 favorables, 
PPP writes
Pat Roberts has seen his net approval rating decline 12 points over the last year, in the wake of news media reports that he spends little time in the state. In February of 2013 we found him on slightly positive ground at a 31/28 spread, but now only 29% of voters approve of him compared to 38% who disapprove.
 Roberts could be in trouble in the primary ... He starts out with a 49/23 lead over Milton Wolf, but a lot of that is simply a function of name recognition since only 24% of GOP primary voters are familiar with Wolf. And concerns about his lack of attention to the state ring through with Republican voters just as they do the overall electorate- by a 42/34 spread they think Roberts is more focused on being a Washington DC insider than he is in representing Kansas.
While PPP shows Democrat Chad Taylor trailing Roberts by 16 points, its shows Wolf and Taylor neck-and-neck at 33-32.

One has to wonder if some of the far right politicos in Kansas are kicking themselves for letting themselves be talked into signing up to the Roberts re-election effort.  A year ago, PPP noted
Roberts' low profile could give him more trouble in a primary. Just 42% of Republicans say they would vote to re-nominate him, while 34% say they would prefer someone 'more conservative.' Those are pretty uninspiring numbers if a more fiery candidate wanted to challenge him from the right. Roberts has bigger leads over specific GOP alternatives we tested against him though- 21 points over Todd Tiahrt at 47/26, 31 over Tim Huelskamp at 53/22, and 36 over Kris Kobach at 55/19. 
Remember, those results were before the controversy about Roberts "lazy-boy" residence in Kansas became public.

The conventional wisdom at this point seems to be that Taylor doesn't have much of a chance against Roberts, but that he might have against Wolf.  I'm not so sure.  Seems to me that the themes of Roberts not spending enough time in Kansas and being more interested in being a DC insider  might just play in November.


The PPP poll is also encouraging for Jean Schodorf's chances of defeating the Secretary of Hate.

Do you approve or disapprove of Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s job performance?

31%  Approve  34% Disapprove  35% Not Sure

If the candidates for Secretary of State were Republican Kris Kobach and Democrat Jean Schodorf, who would you vote for?

  41% Kris Kobach   34% Jean Schodorf  25% Not Sure

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