Diary

The Electoral Map: Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma

Kansas

There is a Senatorial race where GOP incumbent Jerry Moran should have no problem dispatching his Democratic opponent.  All four House seats should also remain in Republican hands.  However, there is an issue that should be addressed here and that involves the 1st District.

In the GOP primary, Roger Marshall defeated incumbent Tim Huelskamp in the Republican primary.  It became an expensive and contentious battle and soon became apparent that the GOP establishment was coming after Huelskamp with all guns blazing.  When the US Chamber of Commerce weighed in with some hefty ad buys against him, the trend became even more obvious.

What raised their ire was Huelskamp’s opposition to the leadership of John Boehner as Speaker.  He was stripped of his coveted position on the House Agricultural Committee which is an important assignment for someone from a farm state.  Huelskamp had noted earlier in the primary campaign about the outside money pouring into the state.  One investigation showed that besides the Chamber of Commerce money, advertisements were coming from a group called ESA Fund (for Ending Spending), who usually support Democratic candidates.  However, some of their biggest donors are the Ricketts family and the McMahon’s of WWE fame.  If they contribute to Republicans it is usually those who are less conservative.

In Huelskamp’s case, he was certainly more conservative than the man who defeated him.  Regarding the Boehner ouster, it was actually Mark Meadows who helped orchestrate that and he too was ousted from the House Oversight Committee, but later restored.  Huelskamp never was which should have been a clue right there that he had a target on his back.  And then Boehner had the audacity to applaud the loss in public.

The bottom line is that when something like this happens in the Democratic Party, they do a better job not airing their dirty laundry.  There is no doubt that Roger Marshall will be the next representative from the First District and he may even get on the Agricultural Committee.  But the GOP establishment should be well reminded that there will be opportunities for Hueldkamp in the future and he may just get the last laugh.

As far as the presidential vote, there was some concern earlier in the campaign that Clinton could perform decently here, but polling has now reverted to form.  One should expect Trump to carry Kansas by 8-11 points.

Nebraska

There is good chance that the GOP can actually pick up a House seat here in the Second District currently held by Democrat Brad Ashford.  The other two seats are safely Republican.  Besides Maine, Nebraska apportions their electoral votes by congressional district.  In 2008, Obama won the second district and Clinton hopes to do the same this year.  If her coattails extend down the ballot, Ashford may benefit.  Otherwise, his opponent, Don Bacon has a good chance.  However, that will be the only drama out of Nebraska.  At this stage, this writer is predicting a Bacon victory.

In the presidential sweepstakes, look for Trump to carry the state by 13-16 points overall.  That is unusually low for a Republican presidential candidate in Nebraska, but every indication is that he will not perform as well as others have in the past.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a Senatorial race where Republican incumbent Jim Lankford will take on Democrat Mike Workman.  Exactly…who?  An easy one to prognosticate as Lankford will win.

As will all five Republican incumbent House members.  As for the presidential outcome, this writer is looking for a double-digit margin of victory for Donald Trump, possibly as high as 20 points.

After these three states, the electoral vote count stands at Trump with 65 and Clinton with 59.  The GOP maintains control of the Senate 54-46 and the House 246-189.

Next up: the Upper Plains states of North and South Dakota