PPP's newest Kansas poll finds the races for both the Senate and Governor tightening, as Republican voters start to unify more around their party's candidates.
In the Senate race Greg Orman leads Pat Roberts 44-41, with Libertarian Randall Batson at 5%. In a head to head match up without Batson, Orman has a 46/43 advantage. A month ago he led Roberts 46/36- Orman has held onto his support since then, but the incumbent is on the rise. Roberts' gains have come pretty much exclusively with Republicans- he's gone from leading by 26 points with them at 57/31 in September to now a 37 point advantage at 62/25. Roberts remains unpopular- only 37% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 47% who disapprove. But Orman's negatives are rising as the campaign progresses too- his net favorability of +4 at 42/38 is down 16 points from last month when it was +20 at 39/19.
There's still one big data point in Kansas pointing to the possibility of Roberts ultimately coming back to win this race. By a 52/35 margin, voters in the state would rather Republicans had control of the Senate than Democrats. And among those who are undecided there's a 48/25 preference for a GOP controlled Senate. If voters make up their minds based on the national picture in the closing stretch it could mean voting for Roberts even if they don't really care for him personally.
The Governor's race is getting close as well. Sam Brownback and Paul Davis are each at 42% to 6% for Libertarian Keen Umbehr. Umbehr is the unusual Libertarian who's actually helping the Republican in the race by splitting the anti-Brownback vote. If you take him out of the picture, Davis leads 45/44. Brownback continues to be very unpopular, with only 38% of voters approving of him to 54% who disapprove. But he's succeeded in driving Davis' negatives up over the last month- in September Davis had a +12 net favorability rating at 38/26 but now he's break even at 39%. That's helping to drive some Republicans back into the Brownback camp- he leads 64/24 among voters in his own party, compared to 60/25 a month ago. That's enough to erase what had been a 4 point Davis lead.
Republicans lead in all the down ballot races in Kansas. Secretary of State Kris Kobach has the closest race but still leads challenger Jean Schodorf 47/41. GOP candidates lead by double digits in the rest of the contests- it's a 16 point advantage for Ken Selzer in the Insurance Commissioner race at 48/32, a 20 point lead for Ron Estes in the Treasurer contest at 50/30, and a 26 point edge for Derek Schmidt in the Attorney General race at 53/27.
Other notes from Kansas:
-Every time we poll Kansas we find the Royals bandwagon just growing larger and larger. 69% of voters in the state now identify themselves as Royals fans, up 20 points from the beginning of the season when just 49% said they were Kansas City partisans. That grew to 58% by August and 62% in September before hitting its new 69% level.
-Bob Dole's support may be one of the best things Pat Roberts has going for him. Dole continues to be a beloved figure in Kansas with 67% of voters viewing him favorably to just 12% that have an unfavorable opinion. Dole is seen positively across party lines, standing at 80/6 with Republicans, 58/14 with independents, and 49/22 with Democrats.
-Kansans strongly support increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour. 54% of voters are for that change to just 35% who are opposed. 80% of Democrats, 59% of independents, and even 37% of Republicans say they would favor the raise.
-Hillary Clinton trails the Republican field for President in Kansas, but some of the match ups are pretty close. She's down 44/41 to Ted Cruz, 42/38 to Chris Christie, 45/40 to Rand Paul, 47/41 to Mike Huckabee, and 48/37 to Jeb Bush.
Full results here