A new poll shows Democrat Laura Kelly and Republican Kris Kobach are virtually tied in the race for Governor, but Independent candidate Greg Orman says those numbers aren’t legitimate.
The poll was done by the Public Policy Polling group. It shows Kobach getting 39% of votes, Kelly getting 38% of votes and Orman with just 9%. It was paid for by the KNEA, a Kansas teachers union that supports Kelly. That connection is why Orman is questioning its legitimacy.
“That was just a highway partisan poll done by the ally of the Democratic party. It’s just another partisan dirty trick. The reality is they want to avoid competition and they want to avoid accountability,” Orman said.
KSNT News political analyst Dr. Bob Beatty said that as long as polling companies are transparent about their methods, there’s no reason to doubt their numbers.
“We’re able to look at these polls and really get a good sense of the race as long as they’re scientific, done in a scientific manner, and this one was,” Beatty said.
A major contention from the Orman camp was that they didn’t sample enough Indpendent voters but Beatty says there’s a reason for that.
“Often independents have a hard time getting excited about elections and coming out and voting. So what these polls represent is who they think is going to come out on election day,” Beatty said.
While there are five candidates on the ballot, Beatty says this race may only come down to two candidates.
“Obviously that can change. Right now it looks like it’s going to be a Kobach Kelly smackdown,” Beatty said.
Orman says people shouldn’t count him out yet.
“I believe very firmly we’re going to win this race in November,” Orman said.
Kelly’s campaign responded to Orman’s critiques of the poll, saying
“It’s disappointing that Greg Orman is attacking a non-partisan group that represents educators across Kansas and advocates for strong schools for our kids. It’s clear this race is between Laura Kelly and Kris Kobach, with Laura having the momentum heading into the fall. Kansans are sick of politicians more concerned with pushing their own personal political agenda instead of doing what’s best for the state. Laura Kelly is focused on doing right by Kansas kids and families – funding schools, making healthcare more affordable and growing our economy. Those are ideas people across the state will unite around.”
-Statement from Johanna Warshaw, spokesperson for the Laura Kelly campaign
The Kobach campaign has not commented on the poll.