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Kansas Senate: GOP Incumbent Roberts Up by 19%

Republican Senator Pat Roberts’ lead over his Democratic challenger Jim Slattery is down eight points from a month ago, but the incumbent is still well ahead -- 55% to 36% -- in the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Kansas.

When “leaners” are included, the incumbent has a 56% to 37% edge over his opponent in the generally Republican Sunflower State.

For the second month in a row, Roberts has over 50% support, after dropping to 48% in June. Last month Roberts led 57% to 30%. Incumbents who fall below 50% are generally considered vulnerable at the polls.

Roberts is currently seeking his third six-year term in the Senate. Slattery served in the House for 12 years but has been in the real estate business since the mid-1990s.

Barack Obama also has narrowed the gap slightly, but John McCain still leads him 52% to 37% in Kansas.

This month, Roberts is backed by 80% of Republicans and 17% of Democrats in Kansas. Slattery draws support from 77% of Democrats and 12% of Republicans. Though Roberts still leads 48% to 35% among unaffiliated voters, that lead has decreased significantly from the 29-point spread he enjoyed last month.

Roberts also leads 57% to 36% among men and 52% to 35% among women in Kansas.

The Republican is viewed favorably by 59%, down slightly from 62% last month. He is viewed unfavorably by 36% of voters, compared to 32% in July.

More voters seem to be aware of Roberts’ challenger this month, which may partially explain the slight tightening of the race. The Democrat is viewed favorably by 45% of voters, up from 40% last month, and unfavorably by 46%, up from 32% in July. Last month, 21% of voters had no opinion of the Democrat, compared to just 9% this month.

Roberts is one of the few Republican incumbents who appear to be in the clear this election year. At least eight other Republican Senate seats are potentially in play for Democrats including seats in Alaska, New Hampshire, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia, and Kentucky. Senate seats in Texas, Nebraska and Georgia appear to be safe for the GOP.

Rasmussen Markets data suggests that Roberts has a % chance of winning re-election in November. These results are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants. It costs nothing to join, so add your voice to the collective wisdom.

Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius has long been talked about as a possible running mate for Barack Obama. The plurality of Kansas voters (45%) think their governor should accept the nomination if it is offered, while 35% think she should remain as governor. She earns good or excellent ratings from 53% of voters, while 21% give her a poor rating.

The same survey also found that most Kansas voters (71%) oppose lowering the state’s speed limit to 55 mph, while just 22% favor the idea. The majority of voters (75%) also are more in favor of drastically cutting state spending to combat a budget shortfall, as opposed to 13% who think raising taxes is the better option.

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Kansas Safe Republican

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

Roberts (R)

55%

56%

83%

Slattery (D)

36%

37%

9% (L)

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports August 11, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Kansas Trends: Roberts vs. Slattery

Date

Roberts

Slattery

10/13/2008

55%

36%

09/18/2008

58%

38%

08/11/2008

55%

36%

07/15/2008

57%

30%

06/11/2008

48%

39%

05/13/2008

52%

40%


Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Kansas

 

Roberts

Slattery

Very Favorable

32%

8%

Somewhat Favorable

25%

28%

Somewhat Unfavorable

19%

27%

Very Unfavorable

15%

23%

Not Sure

9%

14%


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.