by Michael Mahoney
TOPEKA, Kan. — Two internal polls – one a Republican and another a Democratic – confirm the Kansas Senate race between Republican Roger Marshall and Democrat Barbara Bollier is very, very close.
The poll from Keep Kansas Great PAC, a Republican group very close to Marshall, has him leading by four points. Bollier’s campaign consultant produced another poll that shows her up by two points.
“These types of polls, one of their primary purposes is to define how they’re going to run their campaign in the next month or so,” professor Bob Beatty with Washburn University said.
The Republican poll also tested a generic unnamed Republican against a generic unnamed Democrat. In that test, the generic Republican gets 53%, while the internal poll has Marshall at 43%. The Democratic internal poll has Bollier doing very well with Kansas moderates.
“But for Barbara Bollier to win, she has to get that ticket-splitting, which can happen in Kansas,” Beatty said.
Marshall’s campaign said many voters are just now tuning in. The head of the Keep Kansas Great PAC says Marshall needs to do a better job of getting to know the general election voters.
“They need to introduce Marshall to Republican general election voters, who did not vote in the primary,” Travis Smith, a consultant with Keep Kansas Great PAC, said. “It’s a pretty clear path.”
As Beatty said these are the inside memos the campaigns will use to guide their final month with Marshall’s message being, “Come home Republicans,” and Bollier focused on getting people to say, “It’s Ok to try something different.”