-Pat Roberts is one of the most anonymous Senators in the country. 31% of voters approve of him, 28% disapprove, and 41% don't have an opinion either way. The only Senator in the county we've found with a higher percentage of voters having no opinion about him is first termer Mark Kirk of Illinois.
Nevertheless Roberts shouldn't be in too much trouble next year, at least in a general election. He leads every Democrat we tested against him by double digits- it's 11 points over Kathleen Sebelius at 51/40, 15 points over Mark Parkinson at 49/34, and 16 over Carl Brewer at 50/34.
Roberts' low profile could give him more trouble in a primary. Just 42% of Republicans say they would vote to re-nominate him, while 34% say they would prefer someone 'more conservative.' Those are pretty uninspiring numbers if a more fiery candidate wanted to challenge him from the right. Roberts has bigger leads over specific GOP alternatives we tested against him though- 21 points over Todd Tiahrt at 47/26, 31 over Tim Huelskamp at 53/22, and 36 over Kris Kobach at 55/19.
Democrats might have a better chance with someone like Huelskamp as the GOP nominee- he leads the Brewer/Sebelius/Parkinson trio by only 4-6 points. But obviously the Republican lean of the state will make it hard for Democrats regardless of the GOP candidate.
Jerry Moran is Kansas' more popular Senator with a 38% approval rating and 27% disapproving, although that makes him one of the less well known Senators in the country as well.
-By far and away the most well liked political figure in Kansas is former Senator Bob Dole, who has a 69/14 favorability rating. Dole is the rare political figure who has genuine bipartisan popularity- his favorability is 78/10 with Republicans, 62/18 with Democrats, and 59/17 with independents.
-Going back even further in history, John Brown has a 30/25 favorability rating with Kansans. He's at 37/26 with Democrats, 31/23 with independents, and 26/25 with Republicans.
-72% of voters in the state have no opinion either way about the book 'What's the Matter with Kansas?' 18% have a positive view of it to 10% with a negative one. Unsurprisingly Democrats liked it (35/8), while Republicans did not (8/11).
-Kansas reflects what we find in most red states when it comes to legal rights for gay couples: voters in the state oppose same sex marriage but support at least civil union rights. Just 39% think same sex marriage should be legal to 51% who think it should continue to be illegal. But 63% support civil unions with just 34% believing there should be no legal rights at all for gay couples. As we find most everywhere young voters do support same sex marriage.
-Kansas is a rare state where we don't find Hillary Clinton leading the Republican field, but she does come closer than any Democrat has since her husband's first campaign in 1992. She breaks almost even on favorability in the state, with 45% of voters seeing her positively and 46% negatively. She trails Marco Rubio 47/42 and Paul Ryan 50/43 in hypothetical match ups.
-Finally we looked at some sports issues in the state. Kansas fans outnumber Kansas State ones 39-33. Bill Self has a 62/8 favorability rating to make him the most positively viewed coach in the state, followed by Bill Snyder at 58/5, Bruce Weber at 34/6, and Charlie Weis at 28/11. Jayhawk fans have a higher opinion of Snyder (58/6) than they do of their own coach (39/8).
Roy Williams continues to be a popular figure in the state 10 years after his exit from Kansas. His overall favorability is 48/15, and with Jayhawk fans in particular it's 57/20. He's more well liked than any politician in the state.
-Turning to professional sports the Chiefs are unsurprisingly the state's most popular NFL team at 41%, followed by the Broncos at 12%, Packers at 10%, Cowboys at 8%, Bears, Vikings, and Patriots at 3%, and Rams at less than 1%. The state is even more overwhelming in its backing of the Royals- 49% say they're their favorite MLB team followed by the Cubs at 8%, Cardinals at 6%, Yankees and Red Sox at 5%, Rockies at 4%, Braves at 3%, and Rangers at 1%.
Full results here