The Buzz

Democrat Paul Davis surges to 10-point lead over Republican Sam Brownback in Kansas governor’s race

GOP Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, left, and Democratic challenger Paul Davis
GOP Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, left, and Democratic challenger Paul Davis

Democratic gubernatorial challenger Paul Davis surged to a 10-point lead over Republican incumbent Sam Brownback in a new poll out Tuesday morning.

The Rasmussen survey of 750 likely voters found Davis with 51 percent of the vote to 41 percent for Brownback.

Five percent of voters were undecided and 3 percent preferred another candidate. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

While the poll showed the House minority leader to be generally viewed more positively than Brownback, the Democrat clearly still has work to do.

About 19 percent of those polled said they had never heard of Davis and another 10 percent weren’t sure what they thought about the Lawrence lawmaker.

Of those polled 41 percent thought the economy was in poor condition and another 37 percent rated it as “fair.” Only 22 percent of those surveyed thought the economy was in good or excellent condition.

The poll showed that Brownback is clearly losing the battle of the state budget, which is bleeding revenue because of income tax cuts he signed into law in 2012 and 2013. The state is expected to be $238 million in the red by 2016.

Forty-nine percent of likely voters said they thought the budget situation in Kansas was worse now than it was a year ago. Thirty-six percent said the budget situation was the same. Only 12 percent said it was better.

The poll also reveals that likely voters trust Davis more with spending and taxes than the current governor.

Forty-three percent trust Davis with government spending compared to 36 percent for Brownback. Another 21 percent were unsure.

On taxes, Davis gets support from 42 percent of likely voters compared to 37 percent for Brownback. Twenty-one percent didn’t know.

To reach Brad Cooper, call 816-234-7724 or send email to