WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — New results of the KSN/Emerson College/The Hill poll show incumbent candidate Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Attorney General Derek Schmidt in a virtual dead heat.
“The poll confirms what we’ve all assumed for a long is that this is going to be a very competitive race, likely going to go down to the wire, where get-out-of-the-vote efforts in those last few days will make a difference,” Dr. Jeff Jarman, Director of Wichita State University’s Elliott School of Communication, said.
Dr. Jarman says he expects those numbers to fluctuate in favor of both candidates as more polls are released closer to election day.
“Moderate Republicans and Independents are probably always the group that decided whether it will be a Democrat or Republican who will be elected,” Dr. Jarman said.
Dr. Jarman says the influx of independents who voted in the latest primary election could lead to an even bigger influx of voters in the gubernatorial race.
“Historically, independents are much more conservative-leaning, and in this poll, they look like they are breaking for Kelly, and that might be a holdover from the August 2nd vote,” Dr. Jarman said.
Despite the numbers, Dr. Jarman says he does anticipate the poll results will change either campaign’s strategies.
“These candidates will like what they see — the survey shows that Republicans are interested in the economy and issues of the economy, and democrats are interested in issues of the economy, but also health care and abortion, and that plays into the strong suits for both of these candidates,” Dr. Jarman said.