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Kansas poll: Gov. Laura Kelly holds narrow lead in gubernatorial race against Derek Schmidt

Kansas candidates lined up
Tim Carpenter
Kansas Reflector
Gov. Laura Kelly, center, holds a slim lead in the campaign against Republican nominee Derek Schmidt, second from left, in the gubernatorial race to be decided in November.

Poll shows the economy is voters' top issue in the campaign followed by abortion rights.

by Tim Carpenter, Kansas Reflector
September 21, 2022

TOPEKA — A new poll of likely Kansas voters released Wednesday indicated Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly held a narrow lead over Republican nominee Derek Schmidt in a heated contest to be decided in less than two months.

Kelly, who is seeking a second term as governor, was favored by 44.6% of those participating in the survey, while Schmidt was the preference of 43.1%. Independent candidate Dennis Pyle, a lifelong member of the GOP until launching his bid, had 3%. Eight percent of those polled were undecided.

The 1.5 percentage point gap between Schmidt and Kelly in the FOX4 survey by Emerson College Polling was within the margin of error. In earlier polling in Kansas’ gubernatorial contest done by different organizations, Schmidt was ahead in two polls and Kelly in one poll. One of those polls had Pyle at 2%.

Spencer Kimball, executive director for Emerson College Polling, said the latest assessment revealed men in Kansas favored Schmidt over Kelly by a margin of 51% to 38%. At the same time, he said, women were breaking for Kelly over Schmidt 51% to 37%.

Meanwhile, the poll by Emerson College put Republican Kris Kobach ahead of Democratic nominee Chris Mann. It had Kobach at 41% and Mann at 39%.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican, had a lead of 45% to 33% over Democratic candidate Mark Holland, a former mayor of the unified government in Kansas City, Kansas.

The Emerson College poll found 48.4% Kansas voters in the survey were most concerned about the economy, but abortion rights was the second-most important issue at 16%.

Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sherman Smith for questions: info@kansasreflector.com. Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.

Tim Carpenter