Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Kansas Politics: 2nd Congressional District & incumbent Republican Jim Ryun are "in play"

By Diane Silver

I'll be honest. I never thought Democrat Nancy Boyda had even a whiff of a chance of taking ultra-conservative Republican Jim Ryun's seat in the 2nd District. But today comes yet another sign that a Boyda victory is at least in the realm of possibility.

The National Journal's Hotline editor in chief, Chuck Todd, has just put the Kansas 2nd in the "in play" list.

Todd expanded his list from 50 seats to 60 and ranked the 2nd District as #59. In writing about the impact of Democrats' new enthusiasm on the entire election, Todd notes:
So, for instance, in a place like Kansas-02, the Democrat already has 41 percent compared to the incumbent Republican's 45 percent. The undecideds are probably too Republican for the Democrat to win, but still, the numbers aren't lying right now.
This is the first sign that independent polling shows Boyda within striking distance. As Todd says, the question now is what the undecideds will do. I'm not as certain of the outcome as Todd is.

Even though the undecideds may include more registered Republicans than registered Democrats, that doesn't mean they're Jim Ryun, Religious Right Republicans. I would suspect -- and this is only a guess -- that if they were in Ryun's religious and political camp, they would already be supporting him.

However, what may well turn this race into a Ryun victory is the fact that his larger campaign war chest will allow him to bury Boyda under negative commercials. Ryun's nasty ads are already appearing on Topeka TV.

Hat tip to Siege Mentality for pointing me to the posting. Ole' Mentality has his own analysis of the situation.

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