Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kansas Senate Election

Republican incumbent: Pat Roberts

Democratic candidate: Jim Slattery

Roberts, 72, has been a senator since 1997. He represented Kansas in the House of Representatives from 1981 to 1997.

Slattery, 60, was a congressman from 1983 to 1995. He earlier served in the state legislature. Slattery was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for governor of Kansas in 1994.

Roberts has a 20 percentage-point lead in the polls, according to Real Clear Politics.

Slattery is running an aggressively negative campaign, in an attempt to overcome that large Republican lead. Here is a Washington Post blog post about his TV ad campaign. (Warning: the video is a bit nasty.)

This Senate seat was returned to Republican hands in an off-year congressional election that was a great success for the GOP. Was it 1994, 1978, 1966, 1946? No. Republicans have continuously held this seat since the election in which Woodrow Wilson lost his Democratic Senate majority in the waning days of World War I. 90 years and, apparently, counting.

By contrast, the state's other Senate seat, currently held by Republican Sam Brownback, has been Republican for a mere 70 years.

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