Data Collected: 07/16/2012 - 07/18/2012
Sponsor: KWCH-TV Wichita
In a Republican primary election for Sedgwick County Kansas District Attorney today, 07/18/12, 3 weeks until votes are counted, Deputy DA Marc Bennett leads former Deputy DA Kevin O'Connor 51% to 33%, according to this latest exclusive KWCH-TV poll conducted by SurveyUSA. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll released 2 weeks ago, Bennett is up 14 points; O'Connor is down 3. O'Connor draws strength from younger voters, those who did not attend college, those who rarely attend religious services, and lower-income voters. Bennett leads by 5:4 among men, 5:3 among women, and by 5:3 among older voters, traditionally the most reliable.
Incumbent District Attorney Democrat Nola Foulston, first elected in 1988, is not seeking re-election. There is no Democrat running for the seat; the winner of the August 7 primary will be the next District Attorney.
In a Republican primary election for Sedgwick County Sheriff today, 07/18/12, Wichita Police Department Captain Jeff Easter today leads incumbent Bob Hinshaw, 49% to 38%. Compared to 2 weeks ago, Easter is up 7 points; Hinshaw is down 5. Easter's gains come from men, where Hinshaw had led by 15, now trails by 12 -- a 27-point shift to Easter -- and from voters under age 50, where Hinshaw had led by 9, now trails by 14, a 23-point shift to Easter.
The winner of the August 7 Republican primary will face retired Wichita Police Department officer Democrat Jefrey Weinman in the November general election.
1. Asked of 401 likely Republican primary voters - Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 5%
- 51% Marc Bennett
- 33% Kevin O'Connor
- 16% Undecided
2. Asked of 401 likely Republican primary voters - Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 5%
- 38% Bob Hinshaw
- 49% Jeff Easter
- 12% Undecided
"I think the jail issue has been the significant factor in that, rightly or wrongly," said Wichita State Political Science Professor Mel Kahn.
Kahn is talking about the recent jail investigation involving a detention deputy accused of raping several inmates. That story broke in June, and Kahn says it has clearly hurt Hinshaw's campaign.
"The old Harry Truman adage, the buck stops here," Kahn said. "So the man in charge gets the responsibility."
The race for Sedgwick County District Attorney hasn't been as controversial until a recent survey from the Wichita Bar Association came out favoring Marc Bennett in most categories.
"Its very amazing to me the tremendous differential between the two men in terms of the lawyers survey that was made," Kahn said.
With less than three weeks to go before the primary election, Kahn says candidates don't have much time left to sway voters.
"I think one of the candidates among the underdogs is really going to have to score some sort of a knock out punch," Kahn said.