If Kris Kobach Wants To Lose Another Seat For The GOP, Who Are We To Argue?
It's just possible that the national GOP hates Kris Kobach more than Kris Kobach hates immigrants. Which is high bar to clear! From the moment he declared for the Kansas's US Senate race by misspelling his own name on the registration form, the National Republican Senate Committee accused him of "simultaneously put[ting] President Trump's presidency and Senate Majority at risk." But Chris -- sorry, Kris -- Kobach brushed off the DC insiders' gripes with the dogged confidence of a guy who plans to grift a billion dollars to erect a home-brew border wall.
While Mike Pompeo was Hamlet-ing all over Foggy Bottom, the NRSC could keep Kansas on the back burner. But now that Pompeo says he's foregoing the Senate race to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fuck shit up in the Middle East, the GOP is panicking. The Wall Street Journal reports that internal Republican polling has Kobach almost 20 points ahead of his closest primary challenger, Rep. Roger Marshall (KS-1), and weak against a strong Democrat in the general. And Republicans remember that 18 months ago, that racist nutbag Kobach managed to lose the Kansas gubernatorial election by five percent in a state Trump took by 20 points. So they're not risking a narrow GOP majority in the Senate on that incompetent buffoon, at least not if they can help it.
Marshall, who knocked out fellow Republican Tim Huelskamp in 2016, may look like your average whitebread Republican from central casting. And that's because he is. The anti-choice obstetrician opposes both the Affordable Care Act and the state Medicaid expansion agreed upon last week, which would provide health insurance to 100,000 Kansans.
In a normal year, Marshall would likely coast to victory against any Democratic opponent. But this is not a normal year. No year with Kris Kobach on the ballot is normal of course -- the guy recently held a fundraiser with Peter Thiel and Ann Coulter. Besides which, the state seems to be listing toward the center after former governor Sam Brownback's batshit tax cut experiment blew a giant hole in the Kansas GOP's hull.
Last fall, four state legislators switched their party affiliation to Democratic in light of the shitshow shambles that is the GOP in the age of Brownback and Trump. And one of those legislators, state Sen. Barbara Bollier, is likely to be this year's Democratic senatorial nominee. Unlike on the GOP side of the ballot, Democrats have their ducks in order, with the other strong Democrat in the race, former US Attorney Barry Grissom, dropping out and throwing his support to Bollier. She also picked up a high-profile endorsement from former governor Kathleen Sebelius and netted $1 million in donations last quarter, a record for a Democrat in Kansas.
While the GOP has to worry about a contested primary with everyone trying to knock out Kobach -- just like last time -- Bollier can consolidate her support as a centrist who worked (and walked) across the aisle to get things done. It's an outside shot for a Democratic pickup, but with Pompeo out, Cook Political moved the race from Likely to Lean Republican.
Which puts Your Wonkette in the odd position of cheering for Kris Kobach. But we got used to it in 2018, so bring on the cognitive dissonance. Go, Chris, go!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.