Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Cruz, Rubio Trailing at 14, 13 Percent

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Cruz, Rubio Trailing at 14, 13 Percent

Article excerpt

A majority of Kansas Republicans in a poll released Friday ahead of statewide presidential caucuses expressed a preference for New York billionaire Donald Trump while most Democrats supported candidate Hillary Clinton.

The outcome reflects front-runner status of both candidates nationally, but diverge from the preference of Gov. Sam Brownback, who endorsed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. Former Kansas Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and John Carlin, both Democrats, are working on behalf of Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state and U.S. senator.

Kansans will convene caucuses across the state March 5 to make partisan selections of GOP and Democratic presidential nominees. Forty percent of those polled said they planned to join in the caucusing. Fifty-seven percent indicated they would be a first-time participant in this voting process.

The survey by the Docking Institute at Fort Hays State University, conducted in collaboration with The Topeka Capital- Journal and other Kansas newspapers, showed Trump holding 26 percent of support among Republicans. Among other top contenders on the GOP ledger, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz was at 14 percent and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio at 13 percent. With 39 percent undecided, both Ben Carson and John Kasich were tied at 3 percent.

The Docking Institute conducted the poll from Feb. 19-26, contacting a total of 884 Kansas residents, with 440 completing the survey. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Brownback said he was convinced Rubio would win the Republican presidential nomination regardless of what transpired in Kansas. In 2012, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum won in Kansas, and in 2008 former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was successful in Kansas, but neither received the national nomination.

"He's a good guy. He's talented," Brownback said of Rubio. "I think now, as you kind of winnow the field down, a big field favors Trump, so I think the question is how fast does the field winnow down. …

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