The Keep Kansas Great PAC released the results of a co/Efficient polling company survey (1/19-20; 1,246 KS likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response) that finds west Kansas US Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend) moving slightly ahead of former Secretary of State and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach (R) in the 2020 open Senate Republican primary.
The co/Efficient data finds Rep. Marshall only clinging to a 29-28% edge, but this is the first time that Mr. Kobach has trailed in a published Republican primary survey. Additionally, Mr. Marshall’s statewide name identification is far below that of Mr. Kobach’s who lost the Governor’s race in 2018 to Democratic candidate Laura Kelly, suggesting the Congressman has much more room to grow.
Democrats believe they can win the open Senate seat if Kobach becomes the GOP nominee. Public general election polling has so far supported the Democrats’ optimism. Reports surfaced over the weekend that President Trump is asking Mr. Kobach not to become a candidate. The Kansas candidate filing deadline is June 1st for the August 4th primary, so much time remains before decisions must be made. Incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R) is retiring.
Despite US Secretary of State and former Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo telling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will not run for the open Kansas Senate seat this year, outgoing Sen. Pat Roberts (R) said in an interview that his subsequent conversation with Mr. Pompeo suggested the Secretary was slightly less definitive about his ultimate decision. The Kansas candidate filing deadline is not until June 1st for the August 4th primary, so this political melodrama still has time to run.
Democrats believe they have a chance to score an upset here if former Kansas Secretary of State and defeated 2018 gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach becomes the Republican Senate nominee. The Republican leadership believes that Secretary Pompeo entering the race would lock down the seat for the GOP.
Democrats believe they have a chance to steal the open Kansas Senate race particularly since they were successful in electing Gov. Laura Kelly in 2018. Their odds improve if Kansas former Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who lost the previous Governor’s race, becomes the Republican nominee.
The recent Trafalgar Group survey for the Free Forever PAC (12/3-11; 563 KS likely GOP primary voters) finds that even if US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returns to Kansas and enters the Senate race the party nomination is apparently up for grabs. The poll results find both Messrs. Pompeo and Kobach receiving approximately 26% with Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend) trailing at 13%. Without Secretary Pompeo in the race, Mr. Kobach would open with a large 33-18% advantage over Rep. Marshall.
Scandal rumors have been swirling around freshman Kansas Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Topeka) almost since the time he assumed office, and now one looks to be coming to fruition. Accusations of voter fraud are now being directed at Mr. Watkins because it has been discovered that his original 2018 congressional filing lists a UPS Store as his voting address instead of a residence, the latter of which is required under Kansas election law.
Regardless of how the voter registration issue is resolved, Rep. Watkins can expect a fight for re-nomination. State Treasurer Jake LaTurner (R) is already an announced candidate, running here with the encouragement of former Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) and other key party leaders.
It appears the Democrats have found their candidate to challenge for Sen. Pat Roberts’ (R) open seat. Recently, party-switching state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D-Mission Hills) announced that she would run for the Senate, and has already earned the endorsement of an individual who appeared to be her strongest primary opponent. Former US Attorney Barry Grissom (D) has withdrawn from the race and announced his endorsement of Sen. Bollier.
Republicans will have a crowded primary at this point featuring US Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend), state Sen. President Susan Wagle (R-Wichita), former Secretary of State and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach, and Kansas Turnpike Authority chairman and former Kansas City Chiefs football player Dave Lindstrom. Rumors continue to persist that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may eventually become a candidate for the position.
A total of 219 House Democrats and one Independent have signed the petition pledge indicating they will vote for at least some version of an impeachment resolution. Doing so would impeach, or indict, the President, and send the charge to the Senate for a potential trial and motion to remove from office. Among the signers are several members who have competitive re-elections, are in Trump districts, or have primary competition. The lone Independent, Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI), will likely face attacks from both sides as he presumably seeks re-election as an Independent or minor party nominee.
The Democrats supporting impeachment who already face credible general election opposition are (listed alphabetically by name) Reps: Cindy Axne (IA), Gil Cisneros (CA), Sharice Davids (KS), Antonio Delgado (NY), Abby Finkenauer (IA), Lizzie Fletcher (TX), Andy Kim (NJ), Susie Lee (NV), Elaine Luria (VA), Tom Malinowski (NJ), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL), Chris Pappas (NH), Katie Porter (CA), Harley Rouda (CA), Elissa Slotkin (MI), Abigail Spanberger (VA), and Lauren Underwood (IL).
The first Republican to declare his candidacy for the now open expansive western Kansas 1st Congressional District is former Lt. Governor Tracey Mann. Mr. Mann was appointed to his position by Governor Jeff Colyer (R), when the latter individual ascended to the Governorship after incumbent Sam Brownback (R) accepted a federal appointment. We can expect to see a crowded Republican primary for a seat where the GOP nomination is tantamount to election. Current Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend) is running for the state’s open US Senate seat.
The Republican leadership in at least four states is moving toward canceling their primary or caucus, and instead simply awarding all of their delegate votes to President Trump. The states seriously weighing the option include two of the “First Four,” South Carolina and Nevada, the electorates from which are scheduled to vote in February. Kansas and Arizona are the other two states. Others could then follow their lead.
This act is not particularly unusual. Several states in both parties have previously canceled primaries when their party held the Presidency. Such happened for Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. The leaders argue that party funds spent to help administer the primary election or caucus meetings would be better spent in the general election to support their candidates.
Western Kansas Congressman Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend) has scheduled a formal announcement for Saturday at the Kansas State Fair. It is presumed that Mr. Marshall will make his long-awaited declaration of candidacy for the state’s open US Senate seat. The Congressman had been raising money for such a race throughout the cycle but held back on making the move when it was thought that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might return to the state in order to run.
Rep. Marshall will enter the Republican primary against former Secretary of State and gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach, state Senate President Susan Wagle, and Kansas Turnpike Authority chairman and former Kansas City Chiefs NFL football player Dave Lindstrom.
Yesterday, state Treasurer Jake LaTurner (R), who was the first to announce his US Senate candidacy when the seat opened, switched races. Mr. LaTurner will now challenge freshman Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Topeka) in the Republican primary. Many leading Republicans, including former Gov. Jeff Colyer, urged LaTurner to make the move. Resignation rumors surrounding Mr. Watkins had begun to surface, but the Congressman put such talk to bed last week. Mr. LaTurner was quoted as saying, however, that Rep. Watkins is “not focused on advancing Trump’s agenda and his campaign is a wreck.”
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