By Diane Silver
From The Cook Political Report to Republican incumbent Jim Ryun himself, it's now unanimous: The 2nd District Congressional race in Kansas is so tight that something once thinkable is possible. Ryun might be defeated.
Ryun's acknowledgment today of the race's close nature marked the first time he has shown any doubt about his future.
The fact that there is even the tiniest chance Ryun might lose is amazing given that political pundits and even the Democratic Party once gave Democratic challenger Nancy Boyda no chance of winning. The Kansas City Star even wrote what amounted to Boyda's political obituary on Sept. 14.
More evidence of Ryun's desperation: President Bush is now reportedly scheduled to campaign for Ryun this coming week in Kansas. The question, though, is whether Bush will help or hurt the struggling member of the far right.
The recent visit of Vice President Dick Cheney didn't seem to do much for Ryun outside of raising a few bucks. Even out here in red-state Kansas, you have to wonder how much Bush can do to help a candidate.
At this point, Bush only gets a 41 percent approval rating in the entire state of Kansas. Eastern Kansas where the 2nd District is located has the lowest opinion of our president with only 36 percent of those surveyed viewing Bush favorably. The SurveyUSA poll was taken Oct. 12-Oct. 15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.