And with the latest news about Senator Pat Roberts' (R. KS) residency coming into the spotlight, his approval rating has taken a hit too with a 29/38 approval rating: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. It's not surprising that Brownback is doing poorly with independents (33/51) or Democrats (10/76) but what really drags his numbers down is that even Republicans aren't particularly enthusiastic about him, with just 46% approving to 37% who disapprove.
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.
There are a few big issues causing Brownback trouble. Only 26% of voters in the state think his much heralded tax plan has been a success, compared to 47% who feel it hasn't been. And voters are also at odds with Brownback on education funding. 59% of voters in the state think the schools are inadequately funded, compared to 31% who think they receive enough state money, and by a 59/29 spread they want the Kansas Supreme Court to rule that funding has to be increased. Brownback's even losing his party on this issue- 47% of Republicans want the Supreme Court to require more education funding to 40% who are opposed. - PPP, 2/21/14
I think we have a real shot at winning the Kansas Governor's race. I'll have a bigger diary out about this soon. In the mean time, if you want to donate or get involved with Paul Davis' (D. KS) campaign, you can do so here:Roberts could be in trouble in the primary though. 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. Roberts leads a generic 'more conservative' primary opponent just 43/39. 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 and by a 40/32 one they think he doesn't spend enough time in Kansas.
Wolf leads Taylor only 33/32 in a hypothetical contest, so Democrats might have a shred of a chance in the general election if Roberts loses the nomination. But it seems likely that at the end of the day Barack Obama's 34/60 approval spread in the state could preclude any hope the party has of sending someone to Washington. - PPP, 2/21/14