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Kansas polls show tight race for Senate seat

Republican Roger Marshall and Democrat Barbara Bollier will face off in November to represent Kansas in the U.S. Senate.
Republican Roger Marshall and Democrat Barbara Bollier will face off in November to represent Kansas in the U.S. Senate.(Marshall.House.Gov/Twitter: @BarbaraBollier)
Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 3:52 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WIBW) - Polls obtained by the Kansas City Star show Congressman Roger Marshall, Republican, and Dr. Barbara Bollier, Democrat, withing single digits of each other in their race for the Kansas Senate seat.

According to polls obtained by the Kansas City Star, the U.S. Senate race in Kansas may be heated, with both candidates within single digits of each other. While both polls disagree on whether Barbara Bollier, Democrat, or Roger Marshall, Republican, holds the lead, both have the contest within the margin of error.

A poll paid for by the Keep Kansas Great PAC, a political action committee supporting Marshall, shows Marshall holding a 4% point lead over Bollier in the U.S. Senate race. It also shows that Marshall is underperforming with Republican voters.

“Marshall is significantly underperforming other key metrics like the generic ballot and presidential ballot. He has significant room to grow particularly with general election Republican voters,” said the internal polling memo, obtained by The Kansas City Star.

The Star reports that the poll was conducted by Kansas City-based firm co/Efficient and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5% points, applying to both candidates' scores.

The polling memo obtained by the Star also said that Marshall’s weak numbers could be due to Republicans being unfamiliar with the Congressman from western Kansas.

The Star also reports that Marshall’s campaign manager, Eric Pahls, said attack ads that Marshall faced during the primary elections from challenger Kris Kobach are another reason his percentage is below that of a generic Republican.

“Dr. Marshall has taken on nearly $15M in attack ads that started months ago and still maintains the lead in this race. He has the momentum, and that will continue,” said Pahls in an email to the Kansas City Star on Tuesday night.

According to Travis Smith, a consultant of the Keep Kansas Great PAC, the poll shows that Marshall is still in the process of introducing himself to voters that do not reside in his western Kansas district.

“Roger will win, he just needs to sprint through the tape, as he is currently doing. People forget he’s introducing himself right now to the general electorate in parts of the state for the very first time,” Smith said in an email to the Kansas City Star. “His opponent had a healthy head start on time and money.”

However, a poll conducted by GBAO strategies shows that Bollier leads Marshall 45% to 43% with a margin of error of plus or minus 4% points. It also states Bollier has “more cross-party and moderate support” than Marshall.

According to the polling memo obtained by the Star, Bollier “appears to be hitting her ceiling with little room to grow." It also said that Marshall should be able to boost his numbers by tying himself to Trump and linking Bollier to Biden.

Patrick Miller, a political scientist at the University of Kansas studying polling, agrees that the polls show a close race.

“Bollier needs Trump ticket splitters to win. Beyond that, I wouldn’t infer much from the cheerleading commentary here in the memo. Marshall probably has an easier path to winning, but you can also see the Bollier path, even if she has the taller task,” Miller said.

According to Miller, the two polls do not disagree since both show the contest within the margin of error.

Copyright 2020 WIBW. All rights reserved.

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