Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly clings to narrow lead in Kansas gubernatorial race


Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly holds a slim lead in her bid for a second term against Attorney General Derek Schmidt, according to a new poll.

The Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey released Wednesday found Ms. Kelly, a Democrat, holds a 45%-43% lead over the Republican challenger.

Ms. Kelly is buoyed by support from independents and women.

“Independent voters favor Governor Kelly over Attorney General Schmidt 46% to 30%. In addition, men and women are voting in nearly opposite ways in the gubernatorial election; men break for Schmidt 51% to 38%, and women break for Kelly 51% to 36%,” said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling.

Pollsters said 8% are undecided and 3% plan to support Dennis Pyle, the independent candidate.

Support for either of the top candidates aligned with how Kansans voted on a recent ballot question that would have allowed the legislature to impose new abortion restrictions in the wake of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“Among those who voted ‘no’ in August, 72% plan to vote for Kelly, while 76% of those who voted ‘yes’ plan to vote for Schmidt,” Mr. Kimball said. “Among those who did not vote, 52% support Schmidt and 32% Kelly.”

While the Democratic incumbent holds a small lead and voters rejected new abortion limits, there are signs Kansas remains a solidly red state.

Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas Republican, leads his Democratic challenger, Mark Holland, 45% to 33%, while 18% are undecided.

Only 36% of Kansas voters approve of President Biden while 58% disapprove of the job he is doing.

Also, former President Donald Trump holds a 52%-36% edge over Mr. Biden in a hypothetical 2024 rematch, while others are undecided or would support someone else.

Mr. Trump won Kansas, 56% to 42%, in the 2020 contest.

The survey was conducted Sept. 15-18 among 1,000 somewhat or very likely voters and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.


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