Republicans felt a bit more confident going into the 2018 midterms than they do at present because there was a strong possibility they could keep the Senate – with 24 Democrats having to defend their seats, many of which were in red states, and an ever so slight possibility that a stable economy could allow them to keep control of the House. In 2020, the tables will have turned – with Republican senators having to defend more seats than their Democratic counterparts, many of which are in states like Arizona and Colorado that are only getting bluer.
Consequently, we’re seeing a number of Republicans running for the exits – some of them fleeing even before their term is up – and they’re floundering in areas where you might least expect. One of the surprise victories for Democrats last year was in reliably red Kansas, where Laura Kelly beat out Trump ally and notorious racist Kris Kobach in the governor’s race.
Kobach, once considered to head the Department of Homeland Security in the Trump Administration because he was willing to prop up Donald Trump’s insane delusions about the millions of imaginary people who voted illegally, has decided his political career isn’t over and has decided to run for the U.S. Senate next year, after Sen. Pat Roberts announced in January that he would retire.
Considering the state’s demographics and the fact that Kobach is a former Kansas Secretary of State, you’d think he’d be a solid candidate, but according to a new poll released by The Wall Street Journal, Kobach’s prospects for next year aren’t much brighter than that of the rest of the party. The poll shows Kobach losing the senate race by 10 points, trailing Democrat Barry Grissom 52% to 42% in a potential matchup.
While internal polling is often biased, it’s not exactly a good sign if your own polling shows you losing by a wide margin when it comes to courting donors or even trying to attract volunteers. Anything is possible between now and 2020, and Kobach may not even be facing Grissom in the general election, but one thing for sure is that Republicans will have to campaign hard to keep their own turf from turning blue, and any hope for gains this year and next are rapidly fading.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making