Two polls show Roberts up in Kansas

Greg Nash

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Two new polls show Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) with a narrow lead over his wealthy independent challenger, giving Republicans a fresh shot of hope in Kansas.

A CNN-ORC poll of 687 likely voters conducted in the past week showed Roberts ahead of Greg Orman, a 45-year-old businessman, by one percentage point

It showed the 78-year-old incumbent winning 49 percent to Orman’s 48 percent.

A Fox News Poll made public later on Wednesday showed Roberts with a five-point lead, 44 percent to 39 percent. The survey of 702 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 4 through Oct. 7 and showed Roberts gaining momentum since last month.

A Fox poll from mid-September had Orman leading Roberts 48 percent to 42 percent.

It’s a reversal from just a few days ago, when an NBC-Marist poll showed Orman beating Roberts by 10 points and set off a wave of alarm among Republicans in Washington.

The newest polls are a sign that Roberts’s television advertising campaign has begun to sink in with voters. 

Roberts has been airing ads in the general election race for the past two weeks. Orman has been on air with ads for nearly 10 weeks, building up a sizable messaging advantage.  

Wednesday’s CNN-ORC poll also gave Roberts a notably higher approval rating. Fifty percent of the respondents said they viewed the incumbent favorably, while 45 percent saw him in a negative light.

The NBC-Marist poll reported that only 37 percent of registered Kansas voters had a favorable opinion of Roberts while 47 percent had an unfavorable opinion. That survey showed Orman had a 46 percent favorable rating and 26 percent unfavorable rating. 

Wednesday’s CNN poll revealed similar numbers for Orman. Forty-eight percent of likely voters rated him favorably and 33 percent judged him unfavorably. 

Roberts led Orman 84 percent to 15 percent among Republicans and Orman led Roberts among independents 62 percent to 33 percent, CNN reported. 

The Fox poll found that only 35 percent of respondents thought Roberts was in touch with people like them while 55 percent did not. Thirty-seven percent said Orman was touch with people like them while 39 percent said he was not.

The published findings of the Fox poll did not address the crucial question of Roberts’s approval rating. GOP strategists say a rating under 45 percent, which some polls have shown for Roberts, is a deadly sign for incumbents. 

This post was updated at 6:51 p.m. 

Tags 2014 Kansas Senate Race 2022 midterm elections Greg Orman Kansas Pat Roberts

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