Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Something rotten in Kansas

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Something rotten in Kansas

The New York Times' Nate Cohn reports that Sen. Pat Roberts is finding himself in a tight race. The latest poll puts him ahead by a nose -- 5 points.

I'm resisting the urge to say not-nice things about the conduct of some of the Republican Party Establishment throughout the primary. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you've seen it here. And if you're at all interested in Kansas politics in the first place, surely you saw the vile Twitter and Facebook posts.  

Cohn suggests that Roberts' poll numbers will look closer the further the primary is in the rear view mirror. But I'm just not sure that's true. 

I'm not an expert on poll numbers, but I know a little something about human nature. And there's a lot, LOT, to overcome from that last primary.

The Internet trolls aren't helping. They continue to name call other Republicans who haven't taken a blood oath support of Roberts. This may not be fair, but it's true: The victors in the Roberts primary race should show a lot of grace and humility in the upcoming days. So far, with the exception of the Senator himself, I haven't seen much of that.

Yes, the Wolf supporters should be out loudly proclaiming their support of Roberts. And I believe they will, but the Roberts' side is probably going to have to take the first step. 

Cohn lists some of the challenges Roberts will need to overcome:

Start with Mr. Roberts himself, who is an extremely weak incumbent. His weakness was on display this month, when he won the Republican nomination with only 48 percent of the vote. He probably would have lost against a more serious challenger, but instead squeaked by against Milton Wolf, a radiologist who was chastised for posting gruesome images of wounded patients to Facebook accompanied by distasteful commentary. Mr. Roberts was plagued by residency issues — he pays a family $300 a month to occasionally stay overnight in their home on a golf course — and those issues could persist if the general election ends up being competitive.
Cohn also points out that the Governor's race in Kansas isn't a slam dunk for Republicans. 

In short, Republicans have a lot of work to do in the upcoming weeks and months. There are several folks that may not be up to the task.

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