Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kansas U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

Kansas U.S. Senate

August 12, 2008
84 Days Until Election Day

Status: Republican Incumbent
2004 Presidential Result: Red State (Midwest)

Outlook: Likely Republican

Having previously served many years in the House of Representative, Republican Senator Pat Roberts is now seeking his third term in the upper chamber. While Roberts has been pretty unassaliable politically over the years, and despite the fact that the state of Kansas is considered to be strong GOP turf, Democrats have looked at some recent victories in the state and held out some hope that the somewhat acerbic Roberts could be caught by surprise and that this would turn into a sleeper race.

Some of the state's strongest Democrat names did not get into the race, and for a time it looked like Roberts would have a clear path after all. Eventually though, former Congressman Jim Slattery reversed a previous decision and decided to run after all, and he is now the Democrats' nominee. His last election was way back in 1994 when he was the unsuccessful nominee of his party for Governor and since then has mostly worked in Washington D.C. as a lobbyist. While conceding that he would start off as the underdog, Democrats have maintained that Slattery would be credible enough to give Roberts a real race.

One Rasmussen Reports poll in June even showed that Roberts was below the "magic 50 percent" threshold and that Slattery was down by a relatively mere nine points. However, when Rasmussen polled the state a month later, Roberts had jumped all the way to a massive 57-30 lead. The truth is probably actually somewhere in between, and Roberts is likely ahead by about 15 points, as some other polls have seen to back up. It appears that Slattery will need to hope for some kind of slip up for his opponent in order to have a realistic chance of pulling off an upset at this point, as this contest could eventually move over to the "Safe Republican" classification. For now though, I will exercise some caution and say it is "Likely Republican."

Roberts campaign link:


2008 U.S. Senate races predicted: 5 D, 5 R
Predicted Senate balance of power thus far: 44 D, 31 R


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