02/21/2014 05:05 pm ET Updated Feb 21, 2014

Sen. Pat Roberts Faces Sagging Poll Numbers Following News He Doesn't Live In Kansas

Sen. Pat Roberts' (R-Kan.) disapproval ratings have increased by 10 points in the past year, according to a survey released Friday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

Roberts’ job approval now sits at a paltry 29 percent among likely Kansas voters, with 38 percent disapproving and 32 percent not sure. The findings represent a rise in his negatives from PPP’s findings in a February 2013 poll, which found 31 percent of likely voters approving of Roberts’ job performance, 28 percent disapproving and 41 percent not sure.

The poll comes after recent revelations that the senator does not actually have a home in Kansas. Roberts instead stays at the house of supporters in Dodge City when he is in the area, a fact he revealed in an interview with the New York Times in early February.

The senator -- once described by PPP as “one of the most anonymous Senators in the country” -- is in little danger of losing his seat to a Democrat in the general election. He is, however, still vulnerable in the GOP primary, having drawn a challenge from tea party acolyte Milton Wolf.

According to the new poll, Roberts currently leads Wolf in the GOP primary by 26 points, 49 percent to 23 percent. Yet Wolf remains a largely unknown quantity in the state: 78 percent of voters are not sure about their opinion of him. Also, 42 percent of GOP primary voters believe that Roberts’ main focus is on “being a Washington D.C. insider”.

The automated phone survey of 693 Kansas voters, including 375 Republican primary voters, was conducted from Feb. 18-20.



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