National poll: More than half of residents approve of Gov. Laura Kelly's job performance
Slightly more than half of Kansas residents approve of Gov. Laura Kelly's job performance, according to polling released Thursday from the national outlet Morning Consult.
The firm periodically will assess the approval rating for each governor nationally. In Kansas, 54% of residents approve of Kelly's performance, with a margin of error of plus or minus of 4%.
It is the first snapshot of Kelly's favorability in over a year and it comes ahead of an expected matchup with Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt in the 2022 governor's race.
It also comes just days before legislators are set to return to Topeka for a special session focused on COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Schmidt has filed three lawsuits in opposition to the mandates amid conservative pushback to the requirements, while Kelly came out against the directives in a statement earlier this month.
In August 2020, Kelly saw her rating at 46%, according to a survey from a group of research universities tracking public opinion on COVID-19 policy responses. That is a decline from her rating of 68% in April of last year.
Kelly's office cheered Thursday's news in a statement.
"Governor Kelly has turned around Kansas’ broken budget, she’s helped recruit billions in new business dollars and thousands of new jobs to the state, and she’s fulfilled her promise to fully fund Kansas schools, all while leading a balanced, steady response to COVID-19," said Reeves Oyster, a Kelly spokesperson.
Various internal polls from the fall show the tilt between Schmidt and Kelly to be a tight one presently.
Data from Republican-leaning pollster Remington Research shows Schmidt with a 44-40 lead, with 16% of voters surveyed undecided.
A competing poll from the left-leaning Clarity Campaign Labs, commissioned by the group EMILY's List, shows Kelly with a slim 47-44 lead. That poll pegged Kelly's approval rating at 53%.
Andrew Bahl is a senior statehouse reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 443-979-6100.