Trump, Moran have comfortable leads in Kansas, new poll shows

Senator Jerry Moran celebrates with supporters at the opening of his campaign office in Wichita in May.
Senator Jerry Moran celebrates with supporters at the opening of his campaign office in Wichita in May. File photo

A new poll shows Republican Donald Trump with a commanding 24 percentage point lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton in Kansas.

That would be an improvement upon Mitt Romney’s 2012 election totals if the results are accurate. Romney won the state by 22 percentage points. Trump leads Clinton 58 percent to 34 percent in Kansas, according to the new poll from Fort Hays State University’s Docking Institute of Public Affairs.

The poll of 313 likely voters was conducted by phone between Nov. 1 and Nov. 3 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.5 percentage points.

Libertarian Gary Johnson drew support from 7 percent of likely voters in the poll, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein garnered support from less than 1 percent.

The poll showed a major swing in the presidential race from the poll the university released a week ago, which gave Trump an unusually slim lead of 8 percentage points in Republican-leaning Kansas.

The earlier poll was conducted in the first half of October, before the FBI said it would review newly discovered e-mails relevant to its investigation of Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server as U.S. secretary of state.

The new e-mails were discovered through an investigation into former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s communications with an underage girl. A Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, is married to but separated from Weiner.

The poll also showed a 64-point lead for U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran in his re-election bid. The poll showed 77 percent of likely voters who responded plan to vote for the incumbent Republican, while Democrat Patrick Wiesner drew 13 percent. Libertarian Robert Garrard had support from 10 percent of likely voters.

The Fort Hays poll showed that Justice Caleb Stegall stands the best chance of winning retention, with 52 percent of respondents saying they support retaining the justice, who was appointed to the court by Gov. Sam Brownback in 2014.

Another 29 percent said that they supported ousting Stegall, while the remaining voters said they did not know.

The other four justices up for retention had support from 46 percent of respondents, while another 35 percent supported their ouster.

Stegall is the only justice who has not been a target of an anti-retention campaign by Kansans for Life and other groups.

A justice must win a majority in order to stay on the bench. If a justice fails to meet that threshold, Brownback will be able to appoint a replacement after a state commission makes nominations.

Bryan Lowry: 785-296-3006, @BryanLowry3