A new poll paid for by a political action committee shows former Secretary of State Kris Kobach leading the Republican primary field for attorney general but still well below 50% with a large number of voters still undecided.
The poll by Remington Research Group found that Kobach received support from 43% of the 800 likely Republican primary voters who were surveyed. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
He was trailed by Republican state Sen. Kellie Warren of Leawood with 15% followed by former federal prosecutor Tony Mattivi with 7%.
The undecideds were at 35%, leaving plenty of room to influence the election still a year away.
The poll, done Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, also found a bunched up Republican primary for state treasurer with no candidate above 10% and almost two-thirds of voters still undecided.
The consultant for Warren equated the latest poll numbers to the Cleveland Browns’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
“Each of Kris Kobach’s past campaigns and his battles against the ACLU followed the Cleveland Browns’ game strategy,” consultant Jared Suhn said in an email.
“Early leads followed by devastating losses. This is the same, old, tired playbook they have run before and it’s always ended in defeat.”
Kobach said he was taking nothing for granted.
“We’re encouraged by the results, but we’ll keep running like we’re 10 points behind,” he said in a statement.
“I’m going to work hard day-in and day-out in every corner of the state to earn every vote.”
The Mattivi campaign mocked the results of the poll, pointing out that Kobach is still below 50%.
“Despite a friendly PAC paying for the poll, Kobach still couldn’t break 50% support despite the fact that he’s the only candidate with statewide name recognition,” the Mattivi campaign said in a statement.
“The numbers are clear: Voters don’t want to hand the election to the Democrats by nominating a two-time failed statewide candidate,” the campaign said.
The poll was funded by the Keep Kansas Conservative PAC, which is chaired by Wichita businessman Wink Hartman.
The poll was done by Remington Research, which is owned by Axiom Strategies. Kobach’s campaign is run by Axiom.
It drew 28% of its sample from the 1st Congressional District, 24% from the 2nd District, 25% from the 3rd and 23% from the 4th.
It found that the Republican primary for treasurer has yet to take off.
It showed that Republican state Rep. Steven Johnson of Assaria and former congressional candidate Sara Hart Weir were tied at 10% each followed by state Sen. Caryn Tyson of Parker at 9%.
Michael Austin, a former economic adviser to former Gov. Sam Brownback, was at 6%.
Sixty-five percent of the voters said they were undecided.
The winner will likely face Democratic state Treasurer Lynn Rogers, who currently has no primary opposition.
“Polling among candidates who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on recent primary campaigns shows our hard work is paying off,” Johnson said in a statement.
Weir, meanwhile, used the results to tout herself as the front-runner.
“It’s extremely rare for a political outsider to be leading career politicians at the start of a race,” the campaign said in a statement.
“But just a few weeks after she announced, conservative CEO Sara Hart Weir has already taken the lead. Given the dynamics, Sara is clearly in the driver’s seat.”
Tyson said Republican primary voters will recognize her as the true conservative in the race.
“Once Kansas voters learn about Caryn’s opponent’s liberal voting record on raising taxes and giving taxpayer dollars to illegal immigrants, we’ll see the polls drastically start swinging in Caryn’s favor,” said Mike Howerter, a campaign spokesman.”
“Caryn is the only proven conservative in the race and she’s going to win.”
The Austin campaign said it was excited about the poll’s results. It saind the results show that his conservative message is being well received.
“It’s so early, anyone with those numbers could come out in the end,” said campaign spokesman Tony Bergida.
He raised questions about the fact that Remington is owned by Axiom, which is running Johnson’s campaign.
“This was a poll pushed out by the Johnson camp to make it seems like he’s doing well,” Bergida.
“If that’s the best that they can do this early to make it seem like he’s doing good, then I think he’s going to have a tough down the stretch when he’s facing an opponent that has a lot of grass-roots energy behind him.”