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Relief Comes To GOP Over KS Senate Race

The 2020 election cycle’s wackiest Senate primary ended with a big victory for Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall* (R-Great Bend) as he defeated former Secretary of State and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach and Kansas City Plumbing Company owner and self-funder Bob Hamilton in the statewide Republican primary.

The Marshall victory margin is 40-26-19% over the two men, while former Kansas City Chiefs football player and state Turnpike Commission chairman Dave Lindstrom captured 6.7% of the vote, best among the also-ran candidates.

The race featured both parties making seven figure media buys. The national Republican leadership, however, came into to run negative spots against Mr. Kobach, a risky strategy in case he would become their nominee. It was clear that Republican survey research provided virtually the same results that Democrats were seeing, namely Mr. Kobach winning his primary would give the Democrats the inside track toward snatching away what should be a safe Republican seat.

The other unusual Kansas Senate facet was seeing Democratic organizations come into the state to actively boost Mr. Kobach in the GOP primary. He lost the 2018 Governor’s race to Democrat Laura Kelly, and the party leaders believed Mr. Kobach would be the weakest general election candidate to oppose their party’s consensus nominee, state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D-Mission Hills). Now, she must run against the Republicans’ presumed strongest candidate, Rep. Marshall. 

Interestingly, the most recent publicly released poll, which dated back to the beginning of June from the Civiqs organization and surveying for the Daily Kos Elections website, found Rep. Marshall and Sen. Bollier falling into a virtual tie. It is likely, however, as the new Republican nominee, that Mr. Marshall soon becomes a clear favorite to win in November.