Kris Kobach Opens Up Huge Lead in GOP Primary for Senate Seat in Kansas, But Mike Pompeo Could Play Spoiler
Former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach is running for the U.S. Senate and has a commanding lead over the rest of the pack to gain the Republican nomination for the seat that will be abdicated by Pat Roberts next year, a new poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group has shown.
The poll was commissioned by the Free Forever PAC, which is chaired by journalist Ryan Girdusky who was formerly a correspondent with the One America News Network. Girdusky said the poll was released “just to have more facts out there.” It rebuts a smear campaign from the national Republican establishment that Kobach is unelectable.
“The only poll taken in the Senate race was the NRSC poll,” Girdusky said, referring to the National Republican Senatorial Committee that is staunchly against Kobach.
The poll shows Kobach leading the second place contender Roger Marshall, who is a U.S. House Rep from Kansas’ 1st Congressional district, by 15 percentage points. Kobach receives 32.9 percent of the support from voters while Marshall receives 18.2 percent support. None of the other declared candidates received more than 4.9 percent of support from voters in the poll, and 39.1 percent remain undecided.
While Kobach leads comfortably in the poll of candidates currently running for the office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may pose major problems to Kobach’s ambitions. According to the poll taken by Trafalgar with Pompeo’s name included, Kobach is in a statistical dead heat with him. Kobach receives 25.8 percent of support in that poll while Pompeo receives 25.5 percent.
Establishment Republicans are attempting to convince Pompeo into leaving his role in the Trump administration and challenging Kobach.
Kobach said that he takes Pompeo “at his word that he intends to stay at the State Department. But this poll shows that if he does return to Kansas to run for the Senate, it will be a tight race all the way to the end.”
Pompeo has maintained that he does not want to run for the U.S. Senate seat in Kansas next year, but his recent actions indicate otherwise. He has been traveling to Kansas frequently, met with representatives from the Kansas Farm Bureau this week, and made a personal Twitter account that could be used for his Senate campaign.
“The Kansas race is still unfolding. I’ve said several times—I’m not sure the president agrees with this — that I’d love to see the secretary of state run for the Senate in Kansas,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this year.
“The widely held assumption is that he’s preparing a run, because he wants the reputation of a tough man without having to take on all the political risks that position requires,” a senior administration official said to McClatchy DC. “Pompeo has never stopped being a congressman – he’s a congressman serving as a secretary of state.”
“The fear is getting fired like the last guy and having his entire political career ended by tweet,” the official added.
After stuffing the Trump administration with Never Trumpers, Pompeo’s potential reward may be a U.S. Senate seat. Kobach’s poll numbers show that the race would be competitive against the establishment’s choice, as he has tech mogul Peter Thiel and other influential “America First” donors firmly behind him.