Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Kansas Politics: Morrison's huge leap in polls comes from more exposure

Washburn University political science professor Bob Beatty says Democrat Paul Morrison has taken a huge lead in the attorney general race simply because voters are getting to know him. (I kid you not.)

A poll just released by Survey USA shows Morrison with a 13-point lead over incumbent Republican Phill Kline. Last month, the same poll showed Kline with a slight lead.

The Lawrence Journal-World quoted Beatty, in part:
What has happened in the last month? First, Kline's campaign was sidetracked for a week defending and talking about the leaked campaign memo (about fundraising in church congregations). Kline also received some criticism for comparing a staffer with abortion protest arrests to Martin Luther King.

But likely the most important factor is that Paul Morrison introduced himself in debates, but more importantly in TV ads, to voters who didn't know who the heck he was. You see this in the geographical poll numbers.

Morrison barely increases his support in Eastern Kansas but his numbers skyrocket in Western Kansas and Wichita. In Eastern Kansas likely voters seem to have made up their minds about Kline and Morrison (and they favor Morrison by 13-16 pts).

But through his TV ads Morrison has been able to "talk" to Kansans outside of Johnson and Shawnee Counties, and according to the poll, some Republicans and moderates, upon seeing who this guy is, shifted their weak support for Kline to support for Morrison.

Note that I added paragraph breaks to make the comments more easy to read and provided some context.

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