Midwest D-Day: Kansas Senate Tops Balloting

by
August 3, 2010

By Tricia Miller, CQ-Roll Call

Voters are heading to the polls today in Kansas, Michigan and Missouri, where a slew of retirements are reshaping two of the three Midwestern Congressional delegations.

Topping the list of races worth watching is the Kansas Republican Senate battle between Reps. Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt . The winner of today’s balloting is all but assured of becoming the state’s junior Senator next year.

The three states also feature a number of open-seat House races that have become crowded intraparty battles, particularly on the Republican side.

The following is an overview of the most significant primaries on tap today.

Kansas

Senate Republican primary

The primary between Moran and Tiahrt to succeed Sen. Sam Brownback (R) has become a nasty affair, and if the two men used to be friends, there is no evidence that they like one another now.

The Congressmen have sparred over their social conservative bona fides, taxes and spending, and illegal immigration.

The bickering came to a head in June when former White House political strategist Karl Rove, who is supporting Tiahrt, claimed that Moran tried to get a campaign fundraiser with a former Cabinet member in exchange for his vote on trade promotion authority in 2001.

Polls have shown Moran ahead, and he enters today’s primary as the favorite to win. But Tiahrt has gone out of his way to woo the state’s social conservatives. Among his backers are former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Focus on the Family head James Dobson, and in the past couple weeks of the campaign, he has had more fundraising momentum.

Moran has been boosted by his support from groups such as the Kansas Farm Bureau, as well as GOP Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.).

To read more, visit: http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docid=news-000003716717&topic=Feature

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