Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) holds a narrow lead over her Republican challenger state Attorney General Derek Schmidt, according to a new poll from Emerson College Polling/The Hill.
The poll, which was released on Wednesday, found that 46 percent of very likely Kansas voters said they supported Kelly, while 43 percent said they support Schmidt. Five percent of voters polled said they backed independent candidate Dennis Pyle while another five percent said they were undecided. The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
The latest poll marks an improvement for Kelly, who saw her support increase by three points since the last Emerson College/Nexstar survey in September. Schmidt’s support, on the other hand, has remained at 43 percent.
“Kelly has more cross-party support for Governor than Schmidt: 91% of Democrats plan to vote for Kelly, 18% of Republicans, and 49% of Independents,” said Spencer Kimball, the executive director of Emerson College Polling.
Additionally, the poll found that Kelly has a higher favorability rating among voters. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they have a favorable view of the incumbent governor, while 43 percent said they had an unfavorable view. Forty-eight percent of voters said they have a favorable view of Schmidt, while 43 percent said they have an unfavorable view of him.
Kelly is seen as one of the most vulnerable Democratic governors going into Election Day. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has rated the race as a “toss-up.”
Despite being a vulnerable incumbent, the poll found that Kelly is outperforming President Biden and Democratic Senate candidate Mark Holland in the state. Biden currently has a 59 percent disapproval rate and a 33 percent approval rating in the red state. And in a head-to-head match with former President Trump, the poll found that 50 percent of voters would support Trump while 37 percent would support Biden.
Meanwhile, in the Senate race, Sen. Jerry Moran (R) leads Holland 54 percent to 33 percent.
The Emerson College/Nexstar Media survey was conducted on Oct. 27-29 among 1,000 very likely Kansas voters.