What once seemed hilariously impossible now seems like a possible dream come true. Democrat Nancy Boyda may well knock off incumbent Republican Jim Ryun in the 2nd Congressional District in Kansas. Note that I'm not saying that. The source of that insight is the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The National Journal reports:
As of early this week, an NRCC poll showed Ryun down 2 points to Dem Nancy Boyda.I realize that a 2-point lead is within the margin of error of any poll. Such a "lead" could vanish in an instant, but the fact that Boyda has any kind of a lead is rather earthshaking for Kansas politics. Charlie Cook's comments are worth reading:
"For those who were not paying close attention to politics in 1994 or whose focus was on a single state or district, the concept of a 'wave election' is foreign and is radically different from the "all politics is local" elections of 1996-2004. For others whose sympathies lie with Republicans, it is difficult to deal with the possibility, or growing probability, of a profound rejection of their party -- that Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman could actually lose an election. For diehard Democrats, who are s so used to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, they are having a hard time seeing their party actually win a majority in the House for the first time in five elections."I'm beginning to view the Ryun-Boyda race for the 2nd Congressional District in Kansas as a bit of a canary in a coal mine. The canary served as a warning. If the bird died, then miners knew dangerous gas was building up.
The 2nd District in Kansas isn't what you'd call a liberal hotbed. Although it includes part of the most liberal town in Kansas, the district was drawn by the Republican Legislature to dilute the power of all those progressives in my hometown.
Ryun, meanwhile, is an Olympic hero with huge backing from the Religious Right. Boyda has run this campaign with little to no national help until very recently.
Cook may well be right.
Meanwhile, it's been confirmed that our not-so-beloved president is coming to Topeka to campaign for Ryun. George W. Bush will speak at a 6:20 p.m. rally at the Kansas Expocentre. You'll note that Bush isn't speaking or even getting close to Lawrence. He would not get a warm welcome here.