Sunday, November 12, 2006

Kansas Backlash?

The results in Kansas are quite interesting. The race that has gotten the most attention was the defeat of Jim Ryun. In this race, a rematch of 2004, Nancy Boyda picked up 10 points (2004--41%; 2006--51%). What needs to be explored more is the context that might have allowed this outcome to occur. Beyond Kathleen Sibelius winning re-election by a large margin, a number of former Republicans ran as Democrats in down-ballot races, including Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. Both won in part by campaigning against the far right drift of the Kansas Republican party over the past decade or so. This article goes into this dynamic, focusing on the AG race. Whether is purging of the Republican ranks of moderates in Kansas is permanent remains to be seen but for Democrats trying to make inroads into the plains states, its certainly a positive sign.

What we can say about this, as of now, is that Republicans seemed to have stayed home in Kansas. Republican turnout was down 10.5% versus 2002, and turnout overall declined by slightly over 1%. So it doesn't seem like there's a wholescale movement to the Democrats. We just had a different electorate show up.

1 comment:

bboyle said...

Chris,

Who showed up that doesn't normally...Independents?