Poll: Davis leads Brownback in close race for Kansas governor

08/26/2014 6:01 PM

08/27/2014 8:25 AM

Paul Davis holds an 8-point advantage over Gov. Sam Brownback in a newly released poll, but the Democrat’s support among Republican voters appears to be dropping.

Davis leads Brownback 48 percent to 40 percent in a poll from SurveyUSA paid for by KSN, Channel 3, in Wichita. Another 5 percent of voters support Libertarian Keen Umbehr, while the rest remain undecided.

The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points, was conducted among 560 likely voters between Aug. 20 and 23.

A poll from the same firm, released in July, showed Davis had support from 29 percent of Republican voters. The August poll, which comes after weeks of attack ads against Davis paid for by the Republican Governors Association, shows 19 percent of GOP voters back the Lawrence Democrat.

Brownback has support from 70 percent of Republicans, but he trails Davis among independents 43 percent to 33 percent, according to the poll.

Davis leads Brownback by 10 points in the greater Wichita area and by 8 points in the Kansas City area.

Tax rates, an issue Brownback and Davis have sparred on, was the most important issue to 32 percent of voters. Education funding, which Davis has focused his campaign on, was the most important issue to 31 percent of voters.

Davis has led Brownback in every recent poll with one exception. An online panel by the British polling firm YouGov, which was paid for by CBS and the New York Times, showed the governor up by 10 points in July. Some statisticians have questioned the methodology of the YouGov poll because it does not use random sampling.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts also finds himself in a close race, according to the SurveyUSA poll. Roberts has support from 37 percent of voters, and Democrat Chad Taylor has 32 percent.

At the Democratic convention in Wichita last weekend, Taylor expressed confidence that he could close the gap. The Taylor campaign released its first television commercial on YouTube on Tuesday. It is set to begin playing in Wichita and other markets during the Labor Day Weekend.

Independent candidate Greg Orman has support from 20 percent of voters. The poll showed that Orman was pulling support from across the political spectrum.

A poll released last week by the firm Public Policy Polling showed that Orman actually led Roberts in a two-way race.

Another 4 percent back Libertarian Randall Batson, and the rest are undecided.

The poll shows Republican Kris Kobach and Democrat Jean Schodorf tied at 46 percent each in the race for secretary of state.

Kobach, the incumbent, has a 10-point advantage among men. Schodorf leads by 9 points among women.

Poll respondents said immigration (37 percent) was the most important issue in the race; 21 percent said voter registration was most important.

Reach Bryan Lowry at 785-296-3006 or blowry@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BryanLowry3.

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