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September 2, 2014

Posts in "Kansas"

August 25, 2014

Top 5 Races to Watch in the Plains States

There aren’t many competitive races in the Plains States, but the region features some critical contests that could signal how well Republicans and Democrats are faring across the country.

A trio of races dropped off the regional top five list since last summer. The South Dakota Senate race is a likely Republican takeover and not worth watching at this point. Neither is the Nebraska Senate race after former Bush administration official Ben Sasse won the Republican primary. And Iowa’s 1st District is a long shot for Republicans.

Here are the top five races to watch in the Plains States: Full story

August 6, 2014

Rating Change: Kansas Governor

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is vulnerable, but how close is he to losing re-election?

Democrats reveled in the governor’s underwhelming performance in Tuesday’s GOP primary, when the incumbent received 63 percent against a candidate who wasn’t running much of a campaign. But we knew Brownback was in trouble before last night.

During his first term, Brownback has fanned the flames of the intraparty battle between conservatives and moderates going on for at least a couple of decades. And his economic plan has gone over like a set of rock-climbing gear in Topeka.

But it remains to be seen how vulnerable Brownback will end up being. Full story

April 16, 2014

Sebelius to the Senate? Maybe in the Land of Oz, But Not in Kansas

sebelius041614 445x295 Sebelius to the Senate? Maybe in the Land of Oz, But Not in Kansas

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When I read today’s New York Times piece, “Sebelius Said to Weigh Run for Kansas Senate Seat,” I had two very different reactions.

First, I figured that national Democrats had to be encouraged that former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a once-popular two-term governor of Kansas, would be considering a Senate run this year.

After all, Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor has been in the race for a mere six weeks, and there is little reason to believe that he can throw much of a scare into Sen. Pat Roberts in the fall, assuming, of course, that Roberts wins re-nomination on August 5.

Sebelius has name recognition, demonstrated electoral appeal and fundraising potential, so her candidacy would give Democrats a shot in the arm.

After that, I quickly came to my senses. Full story

By Stuart Rothenberg Posted at 3:28 p.m.
Kansas, Senate

February 4, 2014

Ratings Change: Kansas Governor

Is Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback at risk of losing re-election in a state Mitt Romney carried with 60 percent? An automated poll showing the GOP governor behind, a Democratic challenger who raised $1 million, and a group of moderate Republicans threatening to oppose Brownback have some people calling Kansas a sleeper race for 2014. But how vulnerable is he really?

State House Minority Leader Paul Davis, the likely Democratic nominee, looks like a credible contender. He has quickly consolidated the Democratic base while Brownback still has some work to do in rallying Republicans. Until that happens, we’re changing the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of the race to Republican Favored from Safe Republican.

A just-released Republican poll showed the governor leading Davis 42 percent to 31 percent. Brownback also had 45 percent favorable and 41 percent unfavorable ratings. The survey of likely voters was conducted on Jan. 29 by WPA Opinion Research.

You can read a more complete analysis of the race in “What’s the Matter with Brownback” ($), in the latest edition of the Rothenberg Political Report.

Updated 3:52pm to clarify the difference between the automated survey from last year and the new GOP poll from this year.

July 12, 2013

Top 5 Races to Watch in the Plains States

The Hawkeye State dominates the list of competitive races in the Plains. After the region hosted the high-profile North Dakota and Missouri Senate races in 2012, its trio of Senate races this cycle are likely to see action in the primaries — but not in November.

Here are the top five races to watch in the Plains states:

South Dakota Senate. Gov. Mike Rounds is the front-runner for the GOP nomination and the general election. His new primary challenger, state Sen. Larry Rhoden, does not fundamentally change the race, even if he runs as a conservative alternative to Rounds. Meanwhile, former House candidate Rick Weiland is running on the Democratic side, but his own party’s leadership is openly unhappy with their prospects if he is the nominee. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Lean Republican. Full story

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