If you are a big Democratic spender looking to make an impact, you won’t find a better place than Kansas. With two months left to go before the midterm election, the latest polling shows three Republican incumbents trailing their challengers in statewide contests.
Independent Greg Orman jumped to his first lead over U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, who now trails by 1 percentage point. Democratic governor nominee Paul Davis registered a 7-point advantage over Gov. Sam Brownback. Democratic secretary of state candidate Jean Schodorf broke a tie with Secretary of State Kris Kobach, procuring a 3-point margin.
[…] “It’s a nail-biter. Everyone’s talking about this race,” said Jim Jonas, Orman’s campaign manager. “Kansans are sick and tired of the partisan dysfunction in Washington, and Greg’s focus on problem solving continues to attract support from Republicans, Democrats and independents.”
Trying to divide the anti-Brownback vote, Kobach is desperately trying to keep Democrat Chad Taylor on the ballot after he withdrew from the race. Governor Brownback’s deep tax cuts have failed to spur economic growth and led to three downgrades of the state’s credit rating.
But the GOP’s woes don’t end there.
Incumbent US representative Tim Huelskamp failed to win the endorsement of farm groups two months ago, and this week a moderate group ‘Traditional Republicans for Common Sense’ endorsed his Democratic opponent Jim Sherow.
The vulnerability of Kansas Republicans offers a big opportunity for big liberal money. Media time is incredibly cheap in Kansas: you can buy an entire FM station for the cost of a week’s ads on a comparable New York City station.
Plus, it is the home base of Charles and David Koch, the biggest names in right wing political money. Kansas has been an excellent laboratory for disproving their economic theories, so a resurgence of progressive politics in the state would be a huge repudiation of their libertarian austerity formula.
We will be keeping an eye on this story in the weeks to come.