Fox News poll shows Paul Davis leading Sam Brownback

Kansas gubernatorial candidates Gov. Sam Brownback, left, and Rep. Paul Davis
Kansas gubernatorial candidates Gov. Sam Brownback, left, and Rep. Paul Davis

A new poll from Fox News shows Democrat Paul Davis ahead of Gov. Sam Brownback in the governor’s race and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts in a tight race with independent Greg Orman.

Davis had a slight lead on the governor of 45 percent to 41 percent, according to the poll, which was conducted in phone interviews with 604 likely voters between Sept. 14 and 16.

Another 4 percent of respondents supported Libertarian Keen Umbehr.

Davis’ lead falls within the margin of error of 4 percentage points.

It is the same margin by which Davis led Brownback in another poll released this week from Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm. Many conservatives have dismissed the validity of polls from PPP and other organizations that show Brownback trailing.

Fox is a favorite news source of many conservatives, and a survey from the Brookings Institution showed that 53 percent of Republicans trust Fox more than any other television news source.

“Kansans continue to be alarmed by Sam Brownback’s historic cuts to our schools and colossal mismanagement of the state economy. They know Kansas can do better,” the Davis campaign said in a statement.

The Brownback campaign and the Kansas Republican Party both declined to comment on Fox’s poll.

Last month the Brownback campaign disputed the results of a poll from KSN-TV and Survey USA that showed Davis leading by 8 points. The campaign then released an internal poll that showed the governor in the lead by 1 point.

“We are winning,” Brownback’s campaign manager Mark Dugan told supporters in a fundraising e-mail. “The sun is shining in Kansas. Don’t let a bunch of liberals tell you any different.”

Fox’s poll was produced by two firms, Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Co.

Fox had Roberts with a narrow lead over Orman of 40 percent to 38 percent in a race that included Democrat Chad Taylor.

Taylor has ceased campaigning and sued Secretary of State Kris Kobach to get his name removed from the ballot. The Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that Taylor’s name could be taken off the ballot.

In Fox’s poll, Taylor was still getting 11 percent of the vote. Libertarian Randall Batson drew 2 percent.

Orman shot ahead of Roberts in a head-to-head race, leading the three-term incumbent 48 percent to 40 percent, with the rest unsure or saying they wouldn’t vote.

The Roberts campaign had dismissed the PPP poll that showed Orman ahead of Roberts as a “Democrat smokescreen.”

After the Fox poll, the Roberts campaign issued a statement calling Orman “another millionaire politician trying to deceive voters and buy a U.S. Senate seat” and voicing confidence that voters would re-elect Roberts.

The Orman campaign in turn called Roberts “a career politician who’s spent 47 years in Washington” and said “poll after poll shows that voters across this state know he’s out of touch and takes Kansas for granted.”

The Fox survey showed that 55 percent of Kansans disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, about the same as where PPP had it at 58 percent.

Republicans made up 49 percent of those surveyed, Democrats 28 percent and independents 20 percent, while a remaining 3 percent refused to say their party affiliation.

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

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