Politics

Internal Poll: Huelskamp Primary a Dead Heat

Kansas Republican considered vulnerable over opposition to farm bill

Roger Marshall, Republican candidate for Kansas' 1st congressional district, is interviewed in the Roll Call offices on October 6, 2015. (JM Riger/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican primary opponent of Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp says their Kansas race is a dead heat — and he has a poll to prove it.  

A survey from Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies shows OB-GYN Roger Marshall drawing 41 percent of the GOP primary vote in the state's 1st Congressional District, effectively even with Huelskamps's 42 percent of the vote.    

It's a marked shift, the poll says, from early April, when the incumbent led Marshall 64 percent to 25 percent.   

In a memo, pollster Robert Blizzard said the poll's numbers prove Marshall can win if he has enough money.   

"Bottom line — if the Marshall campaign has the necessary funds to push back on these negative attacks from Huelskamp and can continue to educate primary voters about Dr. Marshall's vision and policy positions, the trajectory of this race will continue and Dr. Marshall will defeat Huelskamp in August," Blizzard wrote.   

[ House Conservative Faces Primary Peril in 2016 ]  

To start April, Huelskamp had more than $800,000 in the bank, compared to Marshall's $480,000 .  

Internal polls should always viewed skeptically, but it would surprise few if the 1st District incumbent was vulnerable. Huelskamp struggled in his 2014 primary, winning a close race by 10 percentage points. He has angered some Republicans both in Washington and at home as a member of the Freedom Caucus who has voted against the farm bill, a key piece of legislation for rural Kansas.   

The primary is Aug. 2.   

Contact Roarty at alexroarty@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @Alex_Roarty .

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