A new poll out today contains a big surprise about the U.S. presidential race in Kansas.
Hillary Clinton is a hot choice with Sunflower State voters compared to Democratic presidential candidates in the past.
Here’s the no-surprise but still important part of the poll.
People are really unhappy with their elected officials — Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature —especially when it comes to school funding. That’s satisfying to know now that Brownback has called lawmakers back into special session on June 23 to deal with proper funding for public education.
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Here are the poll highlights:
Don’t put Kansas in the automatic Republican/Donald Trump camp just yet.
The poll shows Clinton leading Trump by a 43 percent to 36 percent margin.
Sure, it’s early. And 21 percent were “not sure” in the John Zogby Strategies poll done in the last week.
Still, with so many people unhappy about both candidates, it’s incredibly interesting that Clinton would be up on Trump in such a historically red state.
Kansans are deeply dissatisfied with their political leaders.
That’s reassuring, because they have good reasons to be. Brownback and the Legislature have put in place huge budget cuts because of the reckless 2012 income tax reductions that have slashed $650 million a year in funding for public services.
▪ In the poll, 61 percent of respondents were “cold” and 10 percent were “cool” about the performance of Kansas government.
▪ A total of 60 percent were cold or cool about whether the state is “spending enough to insure quality education” for children. That result should deliver a message to Kansas lawmakers that, when they come back to Topeka for the special session, they need to fully fund K-12 schools for the coming year.
If that doesn’t happen, the Kansas Supreme Court has said they could be shut down as early as July 1.
▪ Finally, 56 percent of respondents were cold or cool on how well Kansas was providing a safety net for poor and low income residents.
Again, that’s a reasonable conclusion to reach after the last few years, when a mean-spirited Brownback and the Legislature have approved bills cutting back on aid for the neediest.