Kelly holds 3-point lead in Kansas governor’s race: poll

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (R)
Greg Nash
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (R) speaks during a statue unveiling ceremony of Amelia Earhart of Kansas in National Statuary Hall on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) holds a narrow lead over her Republican challenger, state Attorney General Derek Schmidt, according to a new poll from Emerson College Polling and The Hill.

The poll, which was released on Wednesday, found that 46 percent of very likely Kansas voters surveyed said they supported Kelly, while 43 percent said they support Schmidt. Five percent of voters polled said they backed independent candidate Dennis Pyle while another 5 percent said they were undecided. The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The latest poll marks an improvement for Kelly, who saw her support increase by 3 points since the last Emerson College-Nexstar survey in September. Schmidt’s support, on the other hand, has remained at 43 percent. 

“Kelly has more cross-party support for Governor than Schmidt: 91% of Democrats plan to vote for Kelly, 18% of Republicans, and 49% of Independents,” said Spencer Kimball, the executive director of Emerson College Polling. 

Additionally, the poll found that Kelly has a higher favorability rating among voters. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they have a favorable view of the incumbent governor, while 43 percent said they had an unfavorable view. Forty-eight percent of voters said they have a favorable view of Schmidt, while 43 percent said they have an unfavorable view of him. 

Kelly is seen as one of the most vulnerable Democratic governors going into Election Day. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has rated the race as a “toss up.” 

Despite being a vulnerable incumbent, the poll found that Kelly is outperforming President Biden and Democratic Senate candidate Mark Holland in the state. Biden currently has a 59 percent disapproval rate and a 33 percent approval rating in the red state. And in a head-to-head match with former President Trump, the poll found that 50 percent of voters would support Trump while 37 percent would support Biden.

Meanwhile, in the Senate race, Sen. Jerry Moran (R) leads Holland 54 percent to 33 percent. 

The Emerson College-Nexstar Media survey was conducted on Oct. 27-29 among 1,000 very likely Kansas voters. 

Tags 2022 midterms Dennis Pyle Derek Schmidt Kansas Kansas governors race Laura Kelly midterms Poll poll

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