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To: Interested Parties
From: Joshua Ulibarri, Lake Research Partners
Re: Recent Polling in Kansas’ 3
rd
Congressional District
i

Date: May 20, 2014

A recent survey among likely November 2014 voters in Kansas’ 3
rd

Congressional District shows that Congressman Kevin Yoder is vulnerable.
Yoder is ill-defined, voters are not committed to reelecting him, and the
surrounding atmospherics in his race make his defeat a real possibility.
Currently, Yoder is well under majority support and leads his Democratic
challenger, former State Senator Kelly Kultala, by just 8 points (42% for
Yoder to 34% for Kultala).

Yoder is vulnerable for three main reasons:

First, Yoder is job-challenged. More than half of voters (55%) say Yoder is
doing either a poor job (23%) or a just fair job (32%). Only a third (33%)
believe he is doing an excellent (just 7%) or good (26%) job. In fact,
Yoder’s job ratings are net-negative among every measureable
demographic group, other than registered Republicans. Registered
independents, a key swing block in this race, are net-negative (59% just
fair/poor). Voters’ deep antipathy toward Republicans in Congress (81%
just fair or poor, including 48% poor), should give Yoder additional pause.
His job performance ratings are upside down and even in this Republican
district (50% registered as Republicans) he cannot count on partisanship
to rescue him.

Second, Yoder has one of the weakest reelect ratings we have seen this
year. Incumbents are in trouble across the country, but Yoder’s ratings
are particularly abysmal, especially considering the Republican bent of
this district. Only 30% of voters say they will vote to re-elect him. Nearly
the same share (26%) say they will vote to replace Yoder. The rest (45%)
will consider voting for someone else (30%) or don’t now (15%). Nearly
half of voters indicate they are open to considering another candidate
giving Kultala a real opportunity to pull off a surprise against an ill-
Celinda Lake
President

Alysia Snell
Partner

David Mermin
Partner

Robert G. Meadow, Ph.D.
Partner

Daniel R. Gotoff
Partner

Joshua E. Ulibarri
Partner

Robert X. Hillman
Chief Financial Officer

Shannon Marshall
Chief Operating Officer




Kultala for Congress – May 2014 2
Lake Research Partners
defined opponent.

Third, Yoder is surrounded by unpopular Republicans with whom he shares many
undesirable characteristics, including horrible job performance ratings and scandal.
Governor Sam Brownback has worse job performance ratings than Yoder. Sixty-four
percent of voters think Brownback is doing a poor (35%) or just fair (29%) job compared
to just under a third (31%) who think he is doing an excellent or good job. While both
incumbents (Yoder and Brownback) have upside down performance ratings, they have
also both been mired in scandals that put their reelections in further doubt. Several of
Brownback’s top aides are under investigation by the FBI for allegedly using their access
to the governor for personal financial gain, and Yoder has been disciplined for skinny-
dipping in the Sea of Galilee on an official Congressional trip.

In summary, Congressman Yoder is in real trouble. He takes less than half the vote, leads
by only 8 points, less than a third of voters are committed to reelecting him, and more
than half are critical of his job performance. Kelly Kultala has a real opportunity to pull
off an upset, if she has the political and financial backing she needs.



i
Methodology: Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey and it was conducted by telephone
using professional interviewers May 12 – 15, 2014. Both landlines and cell phones were called. The survey reached a
total of 400 likely November 2014 voters in the 3
rd
Congressional District of Kansas. The margin of error for the total
sample is +/- 4.9% and larger for sub-groups.