Politics & Government

Kansas: 2 races too close to predict

Kansans may go to bed Tuesday night without knowing who their next governor or senator will be.

Each race remains a toss-up heading into Election Day, according to the final poll released Monday by Public Policy Polling.

Democrat Paul Davis leads Republican Gov. Sam Brownback 46 percent to 45 percent, according to the survey of 963 likely voters conducted between Saturday and Monday. Libertarian Keen Umbehr drew 4 percent of respondents’ support, and 4 percent remain undecided.

The results are similar in the race for U.S. Senate. Independent Greg Orman leads Pat Roberts, the three-term Republican incumbent, 47 percent to 46 percent. Libertarian Randall Batson received support from 3 percent of respondents, with another 4 percent undecided.

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If the Libertarians are removed, Davis and Orman each see their leads increase by a single point. But both their leads fall within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

“It continues to be Brownback and Roberts’ unique unpopularity that’s making their races so competitive,” the firm stated in a release that accompanied the poll. “Brownback has a 37/54 approval spread, and Roberts’ is 34/54. Usually politicians with those kinds of approval ratings are doomed for re-election but Kansas’ deep red hue is still giving them a shot.”

Secretary of State Kris Kobach leads Wichita Democrat Jean Schodorf 49 percent to 44 percent, with the rest undecided, in another competitive race.

Further down on the ballot, Republicans have far more comfortable leads.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt leads Topeka attorney A.J. Kotich by 27 points in that race, and State Treasurer Ron Estes leads Democrat Carmen Alldritt by 28 points.

The race for insurance commissioner also looks as if it’s going to go in the GOP’s favor. Republican Ken Selzer leads Democrat Dennis Anderson by 51 percent to 40 percent, with the rest undecided.

Public Policy Polling is considered to be a Democratic-leaning firm, but a 2012 study by Fordham University in New York rated it as the most accurate pollster out of 28 major polling companies in terms of predicting the popular vote in the most recent presidential election.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/election/article3545726.html#storylink=cpy