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Kansas Senate: Incumbent Roberts’ Support Slipping

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts has slipped below the 50% level of support in his bid for re-election.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state found that the Republican incumbent now leads Democratic Congressmen Jim Slattery 48% to 39%. In May, Roberts attracted 52% of the vote and was up by a dozen points. Any incumbent who polls below 50% is considered potentially vulnerable. The race is particularly interesting given that Kansas has not elected a Democratic senator since 1932.

Roberts leads Slattery 54% to 36% among men and also has the advantage among voters aged 40 and above. The two candidates are essentially even among women and voters under 40 years of age. Among unaffiliated voters, it is Slattery who has a five-point advantage. Roberts earns support from 79% of Republicans in Kansas, while 73% of Democrats choose Slattery.

Roberts’ favorability ratings have remained unchanged over the past month. The senator is viewed favorably by 60% and unfavorably by 33%. Slattery’s numbers are 48% favorable, 31% unfavorable. Those ratings have improved slightly over the last month.

Roberts is far from the only Republican Senator struggling this 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. So far, just two Democratic incumbents are polling below 50%--Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Frank Lautenberg in New Jersey.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius has been mentioned as a possible running mate for Barack Obama’s campaign. The survey found that just 34% of voters see this outcome as likely, while 53% consider it unlikely. If the governor is selected as Obama’s VP, 28% of Kansas voters say they would be more likely to vote for Obama, while 35% say they would be less likely to do so.

Sebelius earns good or excellent ratings from 52% of Kansas voters. Twenty-one percent (21%) say she is doing a poor job as governor.

In Kansas, a recent controversy erupted when the governor's mansion was purchased at a charity auction by abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. Just 37% of voters thought the reception was acceptable. Forty-four percent (44%) say it should not have been allowed. Fifty-one percent (51%) say receptions held at the governor’s mansion should not be offered for special interest groups, while 32% disagree.

This survey was conducted in partnership with Fox Television Stations Inc.

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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 June 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.