The Buzz

Democratic polling firm sees a path for Kevin Yoder challenger

Democrats are working hard to find reason for hope for Democratic congressional challenger Jay Sidie in Kansas’ 3rd District.

Now, they may have found some.

A new survey by Democratic pollster Gerstein Bocian Agne Strategies of Washington finds that incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder leads in the race 49-37 percent. Libertarian Steve Hohe got 8 percent.

But the pollster insists that the “poisonous” atmosphere this year for Republicans in districts like the 3rd, where 61 percent of voters have a college degree, bodes well for someone like Sidie of Mission Woods.

The reason for that poison? Donald Trump and Gov. Sam Brownback, who both poll poorly in the 3rd. (Brownback, for instance, is viewed favorably by just 18 percent of likely voters while 70 percent view him negatively, the poll determined).

Still, it won’t be easy for Sidie, a first-time candidate.

“Even in this poisonous environment for Republicans, this election is no slam dunk for Sidie and the Democrats,” the pollster said. “Republicans retain a significant registration advantage here, and Democrats will need to seriously commit the resources needed to overcome that gap as well as Yoder’s financial edge. But there is no question that Republicans will need to scramble to defend a district that they considered safe only weeks ago.”

While Yoder starts with the lead, once voters receive what Gerstein Bocian Agne called “positive information about both candidates,” Yoder’s lead drops to 46-42 percent.

Then, once “balanced negative information” is given to voters, Sidie moves ahead by 44-40 percent.

So, there you go.