HAYS — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, current Kansas Gov Jeff Colyer and independent businessman Greg Orman are the most widely known of the 19 candidates currently running for governor of Kansas, but Democratic state senator Laura Kelly may be the most popular.
That's according to new poll results released Thursday by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University.
A primary election set for Aug. 7 will narrow the field before the Nov. 6 general election.
A survey sample was taken from contacts through random landline and cell phone numbers of 1,405 Kansas residents ages 18 and older. Of those who were contacted, 367 people completed the survey.
The poll, conducted between March 19 and April 2, listed the 19 candidates for governor and asked respondents if they knew each candidate. Among the candidates, 85.2 percent knew of Kobach, followed by Orman at 56.7 percent and Colyer at 54.8 percent. At the bottom of the recognition list was Libertarian teenage candidate Ethan Randleas and Republican teen Dominic Scavuzzo, each at 3.3 percent.
A second question asked respondents to rate each candidate they were familiar with by using a scale from zero to 10, with zero meaning highly negative and 10 meaning highly positive.
Kelly, currently the minority whip in the Kansas Senate, topped the scale of Democratic candidates with a total positive rating of 52 percent, 28.6 highly positive (9 or 10 on the scale) and 23.4 percent somewhat positive (6 through 8).
Former state representative Josh Svaty was second at 25.8 percent highly positive and 25.8 somewhat positive for a total of 51.6 percent, followed by former Wichita mayor Carl Brewer at 47.3 percent (16.3 percent highly positive and 31.0 somewhat positive) and Kansas House minority leader Jim Ward at 36.2 percent (11.7 percent highly positive and 24.5 percent somewhat positive).
Orman ranked fifth with a rating of 33.6 percent, 9.9 percent highly positive and 23.7 percent somewhat positive.
The top Republican candidate was Emporia physician Jim Barnett at 31.3 percent, 3.9 percent highly positive and 27.4 percent somewhat positive.
Kobach had a total of 29.6 percent positive responses, with 15.0 percent highly positive and 14.6 somewhat positive. He also had the highest negative response total at 49.9 percent, with 41.7 percent highly negative and 8.2 somewhat negative.
Colyer came in at 29.4 percent for total positive responses, with 9.1 percent highly positive and 20.3 percent somewhat positive.
The poll has a 5.12 percent margin of error, meaning there is a 95 percent probability that findings vary no more than plus or minus 5.12 percent from the value that would be found if the entire population of adult Kansas residents were surveyed.
The complete report can be found on the Docking Institute's Kansas Speak page at fhsu.edu/docking/Kansas-Speaks/.
For more information, contact Docking Institute's director Mike Walker at (785) 628-5563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.