Public Policy Polling immediately went into the field after the Kansas August 4th primary (8/5-6; 864 KS voters) and sees new Republican nominee Roger Marshall, the 1st District US Representative, running slightly ahead of state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D-Mission Hills), 43-42%. This, right after an intense primary campaign that saw Mr. Marshall defeating former gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach and Kansas City businessman Bob Hamilton, 40-26-19 percent.
The Kansas Republican Senate primary went the way of the national GOP leadership as US Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend) defeated former Secretary of State and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach and businessman Bob Hamilton, among others, last night to claim the party nomination and advance into the general election.
This was perhaps the strangest campaign in the country as Democratic outside organizations were coming into the primary to actually help Kobach win the Republican primary by claiming he is too conservative for Kansas. Their plan failed in that Rep. Marshall won the nomination in a 40-26-19% split over Messrs. Kobach and Hamilton. Rep. Marshall will now face state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D-Mission Hills) in the general election.
In the 2nd Congressional District, freshman Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Topeka), who was indicted within the past two weeks for voter fraud in an election not his own, fell to state Treasurer Jake LaTurner in last night’s primary battle. Mr. LaTurner ousted Rep. Watkins, 49-34%, thus advancing him into the general election where his opponent will be Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla who was an easy winner on the Democratic side. Mr. LaTurner will be favored to hold the seat.
The open 1st District went to former Lt. Governor Tracey Mann, who will replace Rep. Marshall in the House seat. Mr. Mann becomes a prohibitive favorite in the November election. Former Kansas Republican Party chair Amanda Adkins defeated four intra-party opponents to win the 3rd District party nod. She will now challenge freshman Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Roeland Park/Kansas City) in the Fall.
Voters in five states will cast their ballots today, including the controversial Kansas Senate Republican primary. The state also features three important congressional primaries and one, in the 2nd District, that could deny freshman Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Topeka) re-nomination. Electorates are also voting in Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. Arizona and Michigan feature Senate races, but the general elections in both states are set. Governors’ races are occurring in Missouri and Washington.
The Daily Kos Elections blog is covering a Medium Buying company Twitter message that identifies the size of the Kansas Senate Republican candidates’ final week media buy just prior to the August 4th primary. The figures do not include outside organization spending, which is likely to be higher than the candidates’ themselves are spending.
According to Medium Buying, plumbing company owner Bob Hamilton leads the way in the final week with reserved media time totaling $284,000, largely self-funded. The ads will again likely feature Mr. Hamilton’s wife who has proved herself a compelling and humorous figure in previously aired spots.
Former gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach, who has been the focal point of most of the outside advertising, has only $33,000 in media time reserved, the least among the candidates. Even Turnpike Authority chairman and former Kansas City Chiefs football player Dave Lindstrom, a minor tier candidate, is spending $2,000 more than Kobach. Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend), a top contender, has $47,000 worth of time reserved.
A new wave of ads from an independent expenditure PAC entitled the Keep Kansas Great PAC, which is aligned with Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend), identifies the Democrats as the funding source of PAC ads that are promoting former Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
The retaliatory pro-Marshall ads take aim at the Democratic leadership by claiming they are “afraid to run against the real conservative, Roger Marshall.” With charges and countercharges coming from both sides about individual candidates and others promoting contenders who they are not really for, brings to mind the old saying, “you can’t tell the players without a scorecard.” The Kansas Republican primary is August 4th, and the result will be interesting no matter how it turns out.
The full Democratic commitment to helping former Secretary of State and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach win the Republican nomination is now becoming known. Federal financial disclosure reports reveal that over $4.2 million has been spent from the Democratic PACs with the goal of pulling Mr. Kobach, who reported only $136,000 cash on hand through July 15th, across the GOP primary finish line. It is obvious that they believe him to be the weakest Republican their consensus candidate, state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D-Mission Hills), could face in November.
Mr. Kobach’s prime opponent, Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend), had more than $1 million remaining to spend. Plumbing company Bob Hamilton, who is self-funding his campaign to the degree of $3.7 million, still had just under $1 million in his political account on the pre-primary financial disclosure filing.
As we get closer to the August 4th primary that will feature nominees being chosen in the important Kansas and Tennessee Senate GOP nomination contests, incumbent Senators are getting involved.
In Kansas, retiring Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), who has been in Congress since the beginning of 1981, endorsed Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend) to succeed him. This primary is contentious because Republican institutional money is coming into the state in an attempt to deny losing 2018 gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach the party nomination, while Democratic money is trying to pull him over the GOP finish line with ads saying he is “too conservative for Kansas.”
Obviously, the latter ploy has the clear goal of driving the most conservative voters toward Kobach. It is clear that national leaders from both parties believe the Democrats have the opportunity of taking the Kansas race in the general election if Mr. Kobach becomes the GOP nominee.
Turning to Tennessee, incumbent Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) announced her endorsement of former US Ambassador Bill Hagerty, who President Trump is also supporting, against surging candidate Manny Sethi, a Nashville orthopedic surgeon. On the other hand, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) highlights an independent expenditure PAC ad promoting Dr. Sethi. The two are battling to succeed retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R).
Freshman Rep. Steve Watkins’ (R-Topeka) indictment for voter fraud and the bad publicity surrounding it has already taken a toll on him and is making this seat, which has elected only one Democrat since the 1994 election, competitive in the general election. A new Battleground Connect poll (7/16-17; 1,250 KS-2 likely voters via live telephone interview) finds Mr. Watkins badly trailing Topeka Democratic Mayor Michelle De La Isla 37-50%, while State Treasurer Jake LaTurner (R) leads her 42-41%. During this time, Rep. Watkins’ favorability index has dropped to 25:50% favorable to unfavorable, and a very concerning 17:61% among Independents.
Freshman Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Topeka), who is now under indictment under voter fraud changes in a previous election, is seeing supporters turn away. Now relinquishing his committee assignments under pressure, Mr. Watkins is also witnessing the Kansas for Life organization, which originally endorsed both the Congressman and state Treasurer Jake LaTurner in the GOP 2nd District primary, solely endorsing the latter man. Additionally, saying he feared Mr. Watkins legal trouble could turn the congressional seat over to a “Nancy Pelosi liberal,” US Rep. Ron Estes (R-Wichita) announced his endorsement of Mr. LaTurner.
Recently, an establishment Republican Super PAC sprung up to invest a reported $3 million in ads to help derail former Secretary of State and 2018 failed gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach. The PAC backers believe that Kobach would again put a Republican seat at risk in a statewide race, this time potentially losing to consensus Democratic candidate Barbara Bollier, a state Senator from Mission Hills.
To underscore that the former statewide elected official is the weakest candidate, the new Sunflower State PAC, with money coming from Democratic funders, is financing a major media buy to actually help Kobach. They use what is now becoming a familiar tactic of criticizing a GOP candidate for being too conservative, knowing that will help secure the base vote. The ad also attacks principal challenger Roger Marshall, the western Kansas Congressman, for being “soft on Trump” and “weak on China.” The Kansas primary is August 4th.
The Rundown Blog
Before you vote, learn more about the candidates who will support a pro-jobs America.