Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is viewed unfavorably by 55 percent of likely voters in Kansas, the state she led as governor from 2003 to 2009.
Though a spokesman for the secretary said Friday she is not considering a run for the Senate, a poll by the conservative Rasmussen Reports also found that she would lose a race to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) by 17 points.
The only other poll on Sebelius came in February, showing she trailed by 14 percent.
The survey was conducted Wednesday and Thursday after The New York Times reported people close to Sebelius said she was mulling a race. A spokesman for Sebelius poured cold water on that Friday by saying she "is continuing her important work at HHS and is not considering a run for Senate."
The survey found 44 percent of likely voters have a "very unfavorable" view of her while 11 percent see her as "somewhat unfavorable." Forty-one percent have a favorable view.
A number of Democrats had downplayed the possibility of a run because she has become the public face of the healthcare reform law, which Republicans have latched onto ahead of the midterm elections. The law in the state is seen as favorable by only 34 percent of likely voters there.
Roberts faces a long-shot primary challenger in Republican Dr. Milton Wolf, who was not included in the poll.
Fifty-five percent of people have a favorable view of Roberts, including 17 percent who see him as very favorable. Thirty-seven percent see him as unfavorable.
The poll surveyed 750 likely voters in the state and has a 4 percent margin of error.