Sunday, April 09, 2017

Special Election Reports: Kansas And Georgia... Referendums On Trump


Tuesday-- in 2 days-- is the first of the special elections to replace the members of Congress Trump drafted into his Regime. In this case it's for the Wichita-based seat that was held by Koch Brothers-owned Mike Pompeo. The seat is hopelessly red. Hopelessly. Kansas state Treasurer Ron Estes will face off against progressive Democrat Jim Thompson, who beat the Republican-lite candidate, Dennis McKinney, to become the Democratic nominee. He's been endorsed by OurRevolution. Trump's missile launch into Syria Thursday was, at least in part, probably meant to help Republicans in the special elections.

When the 4th district caucused last year the winners were Bernie on the Democratic side and Cruz on the Republican side. Cruz beat Trump 7,963 (58.3%) to 3,012 (22.0%). Bernie beat Hillary 6,588 (69.8%) to 2,846 (30.2%). The general election came along and it was no surprise that Hillary was pulverized, even by Trump. There're 17 counties in the 4th. She didn't come close in any of them. The biggest county is Sedgwick (Wichita) and Trump beat her 104,353 to69,627. The smallest county is Pawnee and Trump beat her 1,904 to 579. Hopelessly red. The PVI is R+14. Romney had beaten Obama 62-36%. Trump beat Hillary 60-33%. and Pompeo was reelected 61% to 29%. He won with 67% in 2014, with 62% in 2012 and when he first ran, in 2010, he beat a relatively well-financed Democrat, Raj Goyle 58-37%.

Goal Thermometer An early poll for Thompson after the conventions selected the nominees showed him losing to Estes 56-32%.not that different from Pompeo's first race. Thompson thinks he can pull off a virtual miracle though, in part because Gov. Sam Brownback's brand of radical right-wing extremism-- dismally failed radical right-wing extremism-- has woken Kansans up. Thompson touts Brownback's endorsement of Estes on his website's front page. The Kansas Democratic Party has refused to help him, of course; he's not part of their pathetic establishment and he beat their pathetic candidate for the nomination. But he has more grassroots donor than any congressional candidate in contemporary Kansas history. The American Prospect reported that "a survey of polls across the nation concluded that Brownback now has the lowest approval ratings of any of the nation’s 50 governors."
For the past decade, Kansas voters have elected perhaps the most conservative lawmakers in the country to the statehouse. Led by Brownback, the arch-conservative majority repeatedly and massively cut taxes on wealthy Kansans and, also repeatedly and massively, stripped crucial funding from the government, cuts that particularly decimated the state’s teetering public school system.

That changed last year, when Kansas voters elected more moderate state lawmakers. In the Senate, six Brownback allies lost primaries to more centrist Republicans, and the Democrats picked up a seat as well. In the House, eight GOP right-wingers lost primaries to moderates, and the Democrats picked up 13 seats. The new members, then, are Republicans in the Kansas moderate tradition of Bob Dole or Democrats in the mode of Kathleen Sebelius, rather than Brownbackians suffused with Randian rigidity.

Since November, the new lawmakers have made Brownback’s life far more difficult, forcing him to veto bills that would have ended his tax cuts, increased school funding, and expanded Medicaid. The vetoes do not appear to be popular. Last Saturday at a town hall in Olathe, a mixed-income suburb on the far-western fringes of the Kansas City metro area, a roomful of residents yelled and waved red “disagree” signs at their local statehouse delegation, urging them to override Brownback’s veto of a bill passed by the new, more moderate legislature that would have expanded Medicaid to another 150,000 at-risk Kansans. The state’s new moderate coalition is not yet veto-proof—the attempted override of Brownback’s Medicaid expansion veto lost by three votes—but may well grow in the 2018 elections.

Another factor boosting Thompson’s prospects is the politics of Wichita, the state’s largest city, and one of its most diverse. It’s also the only city to send Democratic lawmakers to the Kansas state Senate outside of the populous corridor that stretches along Interstate 70 from Kansas City to Topeka. Wichita’s former mayor, Democrat Carl Brewer, who was term-limited in 2015, is planning to run for governor in 2018.

At least for now, a hard turn to the left in Kansas, led by the Indivisible groups and others, is more a matter of activism and optics than it is of imminent electoral victories. Pompeo’s old congressional district could move toward the Democrats by 20 points and Thompson would still lose by double-digits.
Republicans are nervous though. Trump and Brownback aren't popular. The Regime dispatched Ted Cruz to Wichita to try to bolster Estes tomorrow and Pence-- NOT Trump-- recorded a robocall on Estes behalf. Paul Ryan's SuperPAC is spending 6-figures on a desperate, last minute negative TV ad blitz on KSN, KWCH, KAKE and KSAS against Thompson.

One week after the KS-04 vote, comes the GA-06 election we've been writing about, mostly because it seems more winnable. In fact, Michael McDonald from pointed out that yesterday was a crucial day for the Ossoff campaign as it was "the only Saturday in-person early voting day. Early voting has gone all his way so far. As of Friday there'd been 17,871 early votes cast and the Democrats-- both in terms of absentee ballots and in-person voters-- were significantly ahead of the Republicans.

If Ossoff wins this very red district-- the PVI is R+14, just like it is in KS-04-- Trump's legislative agenda will be in tatters as even more Republican members of Congress flee for their political lives from any association with him. And polls are good for Ossoff. He's way ahead in the first round and match-ups for the second round show him beating likely GOP nominees Karen Handel 42.4% to 41.0% and Bob Gray 44.3% to 42.3%. National Republicans have panicked and are sending millions in SuperPAC money to combat the $8.3 million that grassroots Democrats have sent Ossoff. The newest poll, for WXIA-TV, the local CBS affiliate shows Ossoff with 43% to 15% for Handel, 14% for Gray. 7% for Dan Moody and 5% for Judson Hill the 4 top-tier Republicans. Trump's candidate, Bruce LaVell, is struggling to get to 1% of the vote, an indication of what trump means in GA-06. The poll shows that Ossoff’s support is young, educated and affluent. The younger and wealthier the electorate, the better Ossoff will do. Handel’s support is old and white and Gray’s support is middle-aged, middle-income and Evangelical. It all comes down to one week from Tuesday. And then on to Montana.

Labels: , , , ,


At 6:16 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Best of luck to James & Thomas in their respective races.

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Flyfish309 said...

Estes wins big. Now watch all the "open-minded and tolerant" liberals make all kinds of ad hominem comments on this. Just makes me laugh. Estes 2017!

At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In KS and GA, any nondescript R would win by 15 points over the best lefty anyone could find and fund. Whoever funds them is just lighting their money on fire.

If I lived in either, I'd bulldoze my house and move somewhere where people weren't so fucking stupid and hateful. Like Canada or Portugal.


Post a Comment

<< Home