Sabato: Kansas Shifts to Toss-Up, Brownback Has Uphill Race

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 01:32 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback faces an uphill battle to retain his seat, and Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics and author of the Sabato's Crystal Ball website, says the contest has become a toss-up.

The Republican governor has "proven so controversial and alienated so many traditional, moderate-conservative Republicans" that it will take a struggle to win in November, Sabato and co-writers Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley said, in an analysis by Crystal Ball.

Brownback is trailing in some polls, reports The Huffington Post, and holds a slight 48 percent to 46 percent lead overall against his Democratic challenger, state House Minority Leader Paul Davis.

In addition, the Crystal Ball blog says Brownback has only slightly raised more funds than Davis, quoting a story in The Washington Post that revealed Brownback only pulled ahead when his running mate, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a plastic surgeon and former state legislator, loaned the campaign $500,000.

Colyer's loan, made one day before the latest reporting period ended, gave Brownback the slight edge, but without it, Davis' campaign would have had $370,000 more than the governor's.

According to the Governmental Ethics Commission in Topeka, Brownback’s campaign brought in $1,244,281 through the middle of July, while Davis' netted $1,121,979.

Crystal Ball says the setbacks aren't quite enough to predict a loss for Brownback because Kansas is a strongly Republican state.

"We won’t be surprised if this one teeter-totters back in Brownback’s direction — but the governor has a lot of fence-mending to do, and quickly," the report says.

About 100 moderate Republicans have decided to endorse Davis, turning against Brownback.


Other Sabato's Crystal Ball Stories:

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