Monday, October 30, 2006
The latest Rasmussen Reports poll show a Gov. Sebelius with a 19 point lead, up from 1 9 point lead in their September poll.
Incumbent Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has opened up her biggest lead to date in Kansas’ gubernatorial election. The latest Rasmussen Reports election survey shows Sebelius leading Republican challenger Jim Barnett 56% to 37%. The governor’s lead was 11 points in our August survey. The last time she reached the 50% realm was July.
Throughout the campaign, Barnett has been in an uphill battle against a very popular incumbent. Overall, 69% of voters approve of Sebelius’ job performance; more than one-third (37%) say they “strongly approve.”
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Josh at Thoughts from Kansas
the non-partisan and widely respected National Journal has expanded its rankings of competitive House races from 50 to 60, and Nancy Boyda's challenge in the Kansas 2nd comes in at 59. This is in part a response to an independent poll from Cooper & Secrest showing the race as a statistical tie (45-41, within the margin of error), and evidence from national polling that shows the field of competitive races expanding dramatically. MyDD recently moved this race from "others to watch" to "likely Republican," and the campaign tells me they expect to win 52 to 48. They have good reason to think that.
It should also be noted that even Toby Keith has made a point of saying that he's a Democrat.
Q: You've said that you might like to run for Governor of Tennessee--or maybe Senator. Is that still the plan?
A: One of these days, if the opportunity's there, that's something I'd love to do. It's a high calling to serve the community, and if you can do it, I think you should.
Q: The country-music world seems pretty conservative and Republican, but you've bucked that trend.
A: It's innate in me to be a Democrat--a true Southern populist kind of Democrat. There's not a lot of those anymore. I'm not saying I'm right or wrong. That's just the way I feel. The issues that matter to me are the social safety nets for people, health care, middle-class concerns. We need to take care of the middle class and the poor in our country. The chasm is getting larger between haves and have-nots, and that's something we need to close down a little bit.
Survey USA has released the results of its poll on statewide races in Kansas. They show Sebelius maintaining a solid lead over Barnett, but with the race tightening a little. Barnett has closed from 20 points behind in September to 13 points behind in October. There looks to be a big swing in the Attorney General's race. If the poll is accurate, challenger Paul Morrison has moved from a three point deficit to a 13 percent lead.
The three other races feature incumbent Republicans who are seen as moderates.
Sebelius (D) 55% Bartnettt 42%
Morrison (D) 56% Kline 43%
Secretary of State
Haley (D) 32% Thornburg (R) 62%
Wilson (D) 37% Jenkins (R) 60%
Sharp (D) 32% Praeger (R) 59%
The margin of error is =/- 4.1%.
Sebelius is down slightly from 58-38 in the September poll. Morrison is up from 48-51.
Friday, October 13, 2006
American Prospect's Midterm Madness blog gives some attention to the possibility of an upset in Kansas's 2nd Congressional District.
KS 2: RYUN ON THE RUN? Kansas Democrat Nancy Boyda has released the results of an internal poll for the second time in as many months. September's poll showed Boyda with a single-digit lead over her 2nd Disctrict foe, Republican incumbent Jim Ryun. At the time, the poll seemed too timely, coming closely on the heels of a Kansas Star story that claimed her campaign was foundering. But Boyda's most recent poll also shows her in a competitive race, trailing Ryun 42.6 to 40 percent.
Admittedly, both polls were Democratic-funded and Ryun's lead is possibly a few points more than Boyda reports. On the other hand, Ryun refuses to release any of his internal polls, typically a signal that a campaign is concerned with its data. Add that to an upcoming fundraising visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, and things in Kansas may be grimmer for the GOP than Ryun's staff is willing to admit.
In a TPMCafe quote, the National Journal's Chuck Todd mentions that a Boyda upset is possible: "It's the type of race that in a wave environment could go."
In any case, Kansas' 2nd District race is illustrating the pressure put on the Republican party by nationwide unhappiness with GOP rule, even in the reddest of regions.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Robert Reich recently made a speaking tour through Texas, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Pennsylvania--far from his old home of Massachusetts and his new home in California.
He had some interesting observations:
1. First, everything you’ve heard about the deep dissatisfaction with Congress and the Bush administration is true. Iraq and the economy are on everyone’s minds, and just about everyone I met was determined to “throw the rascals out.” I don’t recall this level of hostility since Richard Nixon occupied the White House – and, surprisingly, I heard a lot of it from people who described themselves as Republicans.
2. Not a single Democrat expressed enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy. Most were afraid she’d lose. Many were upset with her drift to the right. Lots said they "just don’t like her.” Almost all wanted Gore to run instead. Among the Democratic left, I also heard a lot of talk about Russ Feingold. John McCain’s name came up over and over, among Democrats and Republicans. Most Democrats said they admire him, a surprising number said they’d vote for him over Hillary. Most were unaware of how conservative McCain is, and how hawkish.
3. The “culture wars” seem to have died down. Almost everyone said the divisive issues of abortion and gay marriage had become less salient in their states and communities. The religious right is still very much alive and I had a number of conversations with people who described themselves as “right-wing Christians,” but their attention has switched to issues like immigration. Immigration is a big deal in the Heartland, but Republicans are all over the place on it, and so are Democrats.
4. I’ve never heard so much discussion about widening inequality. It’s a theme I’ve been talking about for years now, without much response. But for some reason, now – perhaps we’ve reached a sort of tipping point on the subject, where the public is starting to take notice and become concerned – it’s now a big deal. There’s lots of worry about the nation “coming apart,” about “anyone falling into poverty,” and about “rich people running the country.” Again, I heard this from self-described Republicans as well as Democrats.
5. The other salient issue is health care. Everyone’s upset about it. The middle class is suffering sticker shock, as employers continue to shift health care costs on to employees. No one has heard any politician from either party give a clear and simple account of what’s wrong and what should be done. Almost everyone I talked with predicted this would be the major domestic policy issue in 2008.