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Rating Change: Kansas Governor
Posted at 4 p.m. on Aug. 6, 2014
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.