Some reactions to the blue splash:
– The Kemp, DeSantis, and King contests were three of the night’s four most important. Cheers to and for all of them.
Kris Kobach’s defeat stings. He’s regularly been stabbed in the back by corporate interests and in the front by criminal organizations like the ACLU, but he refuses to be deterred. The man is indefatigable.
How did his defeat happen? Laura Kelly effectively portrayed Kobach as the second coming of the deeply unpopular Sam Brownback. Kobach could have easily refuted this by pointing out that he had defeated Brownback’s lieutenant governor and then replacement, Jeff Colyer, in the primaries and that Kobach and Brownback could hardly be any further apart on immigration than they are. Instead, he opted to try and win on the state’s nearly 2-to-1 Republican party affiliation advantage by not saying a bad word about anyone with an (R) next to his name. It wasn’t enough.
Then there is Johnson County, home to the Kansas City metro area’s most affluent towns and suburbs. Over one-quarter of the state’s votes came from the county, and Kelly won it by a devastating 55%-38%. Outside of Johnson the two virtually tied, 50.2%-49.8%. In Brownback’s 4-point 2014 reelection win, the former governor took Johnson, 49%-48%.
Kobach underperformed Brownback by 3 points in every county combined except for Johnson. In Johnson, however, Kobach underperformed Brownback by a staggering 18 points. Had Kobach been able to mirror Brownback’s 2014 performance in the county, he’d have won the election.
Johnson has a lot of transplants from other states and also, in no small part thanks to Kevin Yoder, lots of H-1B serfs working for tech companies such as Sprint, Garmin, and Cerner who have a large presence here. It’s a county whose population has grown much faster than the rest of the state’s over the last couple of decades. So have its median incomes and housing prices, the latter more rapidly than the former. It’s becoming the kind of place Paul Ryan dreams about, and as a consequence it is becoming a place that Republicans increasingly cannot win. Conservative nationalist Kobach and Chamber of Commerce puppet Yoder both lost the county on Tuesday.
I’m not sure what’s next for Kobach, but his story is not finished. If Trump appoints Kobach as Jeff Sessions’ successor, the AG gets a major upgrade. If Trump appoints anyone other than Kobach as successor, it gets a serious downgrade. When Trump campaigned for Kobach last month, he joked about bringing Kris into the White House if he lost the governor’s race. Time to make good on that!
– Next door, Missouri had three initiatives up for vote–one on raising the state’s minimum wage, one on “ethics reform”, and one on increasing the gasoline tax. The first two passed, the third failed.
That’s what democracy inevitably leads to–people voting in favor of things that benefit them without requiring any sacrifice on their part, voting in favor of virtue-signaling that similarly doesn’t require them to do anything, and voting against anything that requires them to incur real costs to themselves.
– The Russia Hoax has run its course. Some 54% of respondents say it is politically motivated while just 41% think it is justified. The partisan split is predictable. That means independents realize it is fake. It’s unlikely Democrats will squander electoral goodwill by continuing to pursue it.
– Civic Nationalists remain a majority of GOP voters, but alt-right ideas continue to percolate through the electorate, with more than one-third of Republicans now realizing that the society their ancestors built systematically discriminates against them in favor of non-whites. Only one-in-ten Republicans buy into the ‘white privilege’ nonsense.
– In addition to overwhelmingly agreeing with Kinky Kamala about the nature of the country, a staggering 95% of Democrats say it is either “important” or “very important” to elect more women to public office and a similar 93% that it is either “important” or “very important” to elect more racial and ethnic minorities to public office.
Stated in another way, some 95% of Democrats say it is important or really important to elect fewer men and 93% say it is important or really important to elect fewer whites. But don’t worry, Joe Biden is sure to get the 2020 Democrat nomination. Harris doesn’t stand a chance!