Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

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.

He has some margin for error because of the Republican nature of the state, and Republicans have just started to unload on Democratic state House Minority Leader Paul Davis, Brownback’s opponent. The new ad from the Republican Governors Association attempts to couple the candidate with President Barack Obama, who received 38 percent in the state in 2012.

If the governor can’t unify a larger share of the Republican vote or Republicans can’t drive up Davis’ negatives, then this could become an even more serious contest. For now, we’re changing the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of the race from Republican Favored to Leans Republican.

  • Hawk2240

    Was this written before or after Standard and Poor’s downgraded the state today — the second such downgrading this year — due to Brownback’s mismanagement of the state budget?

  • voltaic

    Funny stuff, Kansans. You have one of the worst economies in the country, you have one of the most socially backwards policies in the country, you have one of the highest income disparities in the country and you have a governor more concerned about the Koch Bros. than the working poor or middle class! Yet Brownback still has a good chance to win again!!!! GOP must love self flagellation, since they keep electing the same brutal overlords who coddle the rich and punish the poor and middle class.

    As Thomas Franks put so well in his excellent book, ‘What’s the Matter with Kansas,’ the GOP vote against their own best economic interests because of firebrand and dog whistle political ads that fire up a socially conservative base. Just mention guns everywhere, God in schools, and punish gays and the base drools at the chance to vote for the GOP hack who then gives the wealthy tax breaks, cuts back on needed services to the poor and middle class, and cuts funding to schools, libraries, infrastructure, hospitals, health and safety. It’s remarkable. Kansans and other gOP whack job states say, punish me economically, make my live more miserable as long as you give me more guns, and punish the gays, women and immigrants!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! No wonder Kansas is a GOP laughingstock! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    • Athelstane

      “…one of the most socially backwards policies in the country.”

      It’s true: Many Kansans are a little more reticent about killing babies.

      • voltaic

        But you types want to point guns at children trying to escape US created chaos in Central America. Save the zygote, harm the breathing child…. Hypocritical clowns….

        Abortion was even conducted during the time of your Christ and long before as well. You would sooner see a woman die than her have an abortion.

        ‘Abortion has been performed for thousands of years, and in every society that has been studied. It was legal in the United States from the time the earliest settlers arrived. At the time the Constitution was adopted, abortions before “quickening” were openly advertised and commonly performed.’

        And with that narrow minded, unbending, destructive thought process, you will continue to get a GOP that will do the same bait and switch. Enjoy the results of your polarized thinking, but be aware that it will do more harm than good.

        • steamin

          You types?

          Man, look I’m a liberal in Kansas and I dislike these people more than anything. But, one of the few places Brownback is good on is immigration. When he was in the Senate he was lambasted by his party for advocating amnesty programs for children.

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