TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas is known as a red state, but this year Democrats are trying to end two long streaks for the Republican party.
The state has not turned blue in a United States Presidential election since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. It has been even longer for a Senate seat where Democrats haven’t won a race in 88 years. That equates to 31 straight victories for the GOP, the longest streak in the nation.
“The polls are very, very close. Roger Marshall probably has a slight advantage, again because of a nearly 20 point advantage in party registration,” said political analyst Bob Beatty. “But Barbara Bollier has certainly made it, maybe one of the most interesting races for the U.S. Senate since 1932.”
Senate polls look different than polls for the presidential race in Kansas. Beatty said that could be because Kansans get to hear more directly from Senate candidates about what is happening in the state.
“The more Kansans, moderate Republicans, or unaffiliated get to know a Democrat in local issues, the more willing they might be to vote for that Democrat. At the national level, we don’t see it,” Beatty said.
He said no matter the outcome of the Senate race, its effect has been felt across the country.
The Democrats obviously want to win the Kansas senate seat, but they’ve already accomplished something,” Beatty said. “What the democrats were able to do is put Kansas Republicans and national Republicans on the defensive in Kansas and force them to spend tens of millions of dollars that they could have spent in Montana, in North Carolina, in Michigan.”
Republicans currently hold a three seat advantage in the U.S. Senate.
In the House, Democrats lead by more than 30 seats.
In Kansas, they will be relying heavily on Sharice Davids in the Kansas City area to win re-election over Amanda Adkins, but another district could be critical if Democrats are able to keep, and even expand, their majority.
“The second district is, again, that bonus district if there’s a landslide. It’s a tough district for Democrats to win. They’re giving it a shot, but I think there’d have to be a blue wave nationally for the Democrats to pick that up,” Beatty said.