Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kansas U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

Kansas U.S. Senate

August 24, 2010
70 Days Until Election Day

Status: Republican Open
2008 Presidential Result: Red State (Midwest)

Outlook: Safe Republican

With Republican incumbent Sam Brownback setting his sights on the Governorship and with the state's once popular Governor Kathleen Sebelius serving as HHS Secretary rather than seeking this seat, there has been little doubt for quite some time that Kansas's new U.S. Senator will be a Republican.

Two members of the state's U.S. House delegation faced off in an early August primary, which had been touted as the decided event for the race, with the general election not expected to be very competitive. Jerry Moran, who represents western Kansas, and Todd Tiahrt, who represents the Wichita area, faced off in a sometimes contentious battle to determine who would be promoted on Capitol Hill, and who would have to return to the private sector in the Jayhawk State.

Both candidates rolled out various endorsements from state and national conservative leaders and attempted to define differences between themselves. Many social conservatives and Tea Party activists preferred Tiahrt while anti-earmark crusaders gravitated to Moran. Primary polls tended to show Moran leading Tiahrt and with a greater financial advantage. Additionally, while both candidates were in fine shape for the general election, Moran, who was perceived as a bit more moderate, held an even larger lead.

By the time the voting occurred, Tiahrt had gained some momentum and the final result of a five point victory for Moran was closer than many expected. Nonetheless, Moran came away with the victory, aided by strong support in the state's rural communities. On the Democrat side, the primary victory of university administrator Lisa Johnston appeared to be a bit of a modest upset over a better funded businessman primary opponent.

The financial and polling advantages that Moran holds over Johnston at this point are staggering and after the hard fought nomination the GOP candidate fought to win in the primary, the general election may be a little bit anti-climactic.

Moran campaign link:


2010 U.S. Senate races predicted thus far: 3 D, 13 R
Predicted U.S. Senate Balance of Power thus far: 43 D, 36 R