Republicans lost what was supposed to be a safe red seat in Pennsylvania. They are terrified they might lose one in Kansas too.
After the stunning upset in a heavily Republican congressional district in western Pennsylvania, the GOP has turned its focus to another deep red seat that could flip blue: Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District.
According to the Kansas City Star, Republicans in the state are in crisis mode. One consultant referred to the GOP’s bench in this district as “maybe the weakest field in a Republican seat that you will ever find.” Meanwhile, the president of a Kansas anti-abortion PAC warned there is “a 70 percent chance” Republicans would lose if the election was held today.
A year ago, it would have been laughable to imagine a Democratic upset in this district, which covers most of the eastern portion of the state and includes Topeka and Lawrence. Even with the retirement of incumbent Rep. Lynn Jenkins, the fundamentals would seem to favor Republicans, as Trump carried the district by 20 points.
Moreover, just as Pennsylvania Democrats found the perfect candidate in Marine vet and former prosecutor Conor Lamb, Kansas Democrats could not have asked for a better candidate than Paul Davis.
The former Democratic leader in the Kansas House of Representatives nearly unseated then-Gov. Sam Brownback in 2014. In that election, he carried the 2nd District by 6 points. And that was against an incumbent, in a national environment hostile to Democrats.
This time, Davis is running for an open seat, in an environment where Democrats command a double-digit lead on the generic ballot.
Davis has also blown every Republican candidate out of the water in fundraising.
As the stage is set for the midterm, Republicans are quickly realizing they will have to defend their seats anywhere and everywhere. And the wave building against them is developing into a tsunami.