Republican and White House Odds Over Kansas Senate Race

WASHINGTON – As the primary barrel of the Kansas Senate increases, tensions are rising between Senate Republicans and the White House over the possible nomination of close Cobb Koba, which party officials fear will jeopardize the seat and force his Senate majority Will carry forward

Senator Mitch McConnell is concerned that Mr. Kobach, the controversial former Kansas secretary of state who lost the 2018 governor’s race, may win the nomination in Tuesday’s primary, only to lose the seat in November – and he is disappointed – President Trump is not interfering According to several GOP officials in the race.

Mr. McConnell and other Senate Republican leaders have made an urgent appeal to block President Kobach by supporting one of his opponents, Representative Roger Marshall. But Mr. Trump has so far declined to do so, and his aides said they have no plans to change course. Comparing the frustration of Capitol Hill Republicans, White House aides have refused to tell Mr. Kobach, Mr. Trump’s longtime booster, to stop using the president’s imagination in his campaign materials.

With many leading Senate Republicans in the polls, and being ejected by their Democratic rivals, they have little margin for error as they seek to defend their 53–47 majority. And because of Mr. Trump’s widespread unpopularity, and a health crisis that has devastated the economy, even a deeply conservative state like Kansas, which has not sent a Democrat to the Senate since the 1930s, this year Senate Republican There is no certainty for

“We have eight months of data that says the majority is gone if Chris Kobach is the nominee,” said Josh Holmes, a top lieutenant to Mr. McConnell. “It’s so easy.”

Mr. Trump’s reluctance to get into the race reflects his growing concern about his conservative base, the chief of which is supporting Mr. Kobach in Kansas. The president has recently sought to stand on the right, especially through a series of races and protests aimed at uniting Republican voters, who have been swayed by his ineffective response to the coronovirus outbreak.

On a related note, Mr. Trump, even as he drowns in general election voting, is proud of his win-loss record in the Republican primaries where he has endorsed the candidates, and sees them as falling short within the GOP Is being seen in

Mr. Kobach has long been a prominent figure in Kansas politics with a rigorous view of immigration, voting rights, and a host of other issues. He is particularly unpopular in the Kansas City suburbs, home to traditionally liberal Republicans who have moved away from the party in the Trump era. Republicans in Kansas and Washington are disappointed that they captured the nomination for governor two years ago, which they think they will have to spend on the seat.

Senate Republicans had long been concerned about Mr. Kobach’s candidacy, and for months he demanded state’s Mike Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman, be included in the race. They have become more uncomfortable in recent times, however, after reviewing Senate Republican voting results: Polls showed Mr. Trump leading only narrowly in the state and found that about 30 percent of Republican primary voters indicated That they would support the Democrats. The Senate race, according to two Republicans familiar with the figures, was state senator Barbara Bollier, if Mr. Kobach was nominated.

Mr. Trump has expressed disappointment that he supported Mr. Kobach’s bid for governor two years ago, only to see him lose, and many congressional Republicans believed that the president would replace Mr. Kobach’s candidacy this year Will try to stop.

But party officials on Thursday became seriously frightened by saying that the president had no inclination to support Mr Marshall.

According to two people familiar with the conversation, Texas Senator Ted Cruz used an Air Force flight with the President on Wednesday to distance Mr. Trump from supporting Mr. Marshall. Mr. Cruz told Mr. Trump that Mr. Marshall primarily supported a vocal Trump critic, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, in 2016. Mr. Trump, who himself ran against Mr. Trump, sought to raise some anti-establishment candidates and his top political advisors are working for another candidate in the race.

Representatives of Mr. Cruz declined to comment.

The push and pull between Mr. McConnell and Mr. Cruz reflects the degree to which Mr. Trump is increasingly combating GOP factions, who acknowledge that he is a useful ally in internecine quarrels and a way to play with them . For his insecurities.

Establishment-aligned Republicans, however, are particularly nervous about how the race is taking shape, and about Mr. Trump’s role in it.

“I don’t understand it,” said Robert Blizzard, a Republican strategist and a pollster for Mr. Marshall, who has so far been asked about Mr. Trump’s perks. “Given how hard things look in terms of getting a majority, why won’t we try to make sure we have a chance to win this Kansas Senate seat.” It belongs to ensure. “

Kansas Republican strategist, David Kensinger, noted that Mr. Trump’s 2018 endorsement of Mr. Kobach was not forgotten.

“Chris Kobach’s career ended two years ago, but for the Trump endorsement – this is an opportunity for the president to put it right,” he said, still expecting a martial endorsement.

But when asked if he saw any signs that Mr. Trump would do so, he replied, “I’m not,” another Republican strategist involved in the race shared.

Mr. Kobach and Mr. Marshall are waging a brutal, crowded competition, defined by negative advertisements and mailers. The Senate in particular is worrying for Republicans, an outside group that appears to be associated with Democrats, has also heavily advertised and attacked Mr. Marshall in an attempt to uplift. Mr. Kobach.

In a statement, Mr. Kobach said the data showed that he would also be competitive against Ms. Bollier.

“They know that the reason they claimed to support Marshall is wrong,” he said of what he called the Republican establishment. “The real reason is that they want a yes man in the Senate – not a conservative conservative.”

Certainly, a statewide race in Kansas remains a challenge for any Democrat regardless of opponent, in a state where many religious voters prioritize issues such as abortion and courts, and some liberal voters are a Democratic- Whatever the feelings of Mr. Trump, who are still hoping to win the state, take advantage of the prospect of a controlled Senate.

And there are plenty of party leaders who are hoping that in the end, Mr. Marshall will prevail. The crowded, negative nature of the Republican primaries has made the race fluid and unpredictable, and Mr. Marshall is backed by a stable of prominent, deep-pocketed groups and influential celebrities including former Senator Bob Dole, the Chamber of Commerce and a host. Other conservative organizations.

“Next week is a big week to give Republicans a chance on the Senate,” said Scott W. Reid, senior political strategist for the US Chamber of Commerce, pointing to races in Kansas as well as races in Tennessee. “A stone cold cold loser in Kansas guaranteed we would lose in the fall.”

The winner of the primary is expected to face Ms. Bollier, a retired anesthesiologist who until recently was a Republican and did not have significant primary battles of her own.

The president of the Kansas Republican Party, Mike Cookleman, said he did not blame Mr. Trump for not interfering, but said the president “might have influenced the race had he supported anyone.”

“Maybe it would have made the race a little easier,” he said.

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