Kobach has lead in Kansas Senate race unless Pompeo enters: report

Kobach has lead in Kansas Senate race unless Pompeo enters: report
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An internal GOP poll from the party's Senate campaign arm shows former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach with a commanding lead over the Republican primary field unless Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request House panel reinvites Pompeo to deliver Iran testimony MORE were to enter the fray.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the poll, conducted for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, found Kobach with the support of 43 percent of likely Kansas primary voters if Pompeo is not in the mix.

However, with Pompeo hypothetically on the GOP primary ballot, the secretary of State garnered 54 percent of GOP support compared to Kobach’s 17 percent.

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Pompeo has repeatedly shot down rumors that he would leave his post as President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE's secretary of State to enter the Senate race, but Trump last month touted Pompeo, saying he would "win in a landslide" if he ran for the seat.

"Mike would win easily in Kansas," Trump said. "He came to me and said 'Look, I'd rather stay where I am,' but he loves Kansas, he loves the people of Kansas. If he thought there was a chance of losing that seat, I think he would do that and he would win in a landslide."

Sixty percent of likely voters who support Kobach would shift support to Pompeo should he enter the race, the poll found. In a head-to-head matchup, Pompeo would beat Kobach 68 percent to 24 percent, the survey found, according to the Journal.

While Kobach leads in the poll without Pompeo in the race, Republicans are wary of his chances of winning the general election after he lost his 2018 gubernatorial bid to Democrat Laura Kelly.

"If Mike Pompeo doesn't run, we don't have a prayer," a Republican strategist who had seen the poll told The Wall Street Journal.

A previous poll reported on by the Journal found Kobach losing to a Democrat in the 2020 Kansas Senate race by 10 percentage points.

Kobach touted the polling numbers showing him with strong support should Pompeo remain on the outside.

"These numbers reflect what we have seen on the campaign trail. Republicans across Kansas overwhelmingly support our campaign," Kobach told the news outlet. "And there is still room to grow and push the needle past 50 percent."

The poll was conducted by phone from Oct. 21-23 and surveyed 607 likely Kansas primary voters. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.