Not all Senate seats created equal

In the end, Kansans are voting for an individual Senate seat, but all seats are not created equal.  For Kansans, a seat for Barbara Bollier would likely be far more valuable than one for Roger Marshall.



October 30, 2020 - 1:47 PM

Barbara Bollier, a Kansas state senator now running for the U.S. Senate, met with Iolans John and Shirley Skillings on Jan. 17 at Around the Corner in Iola. A longtime Republican, Bollier became a Democrat in 2018 after Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, stripped her of her role as vice-chair of the Public Health and Welfare Committee because Bollier endorsed Laura Kelly for governor. Register file photo

By this Tuesday or Wednesday Kansans will likely have a new U.S. Senator. For most of the last century, we could simply assume that the state would elect the Republican nominee, especially if the candidate was the incumbent Representative from the Big First district, per Bob Dole, Pat Roberts, and  Jerry Moran.

But 2020 has proven different, with the first truly competitive Democratic candidate emerging since Representative Bill Roy gave Senator Dole all he could handle in 1974.

The race between two physicians, Republican Representative Roger Marshall and Democratic state senator Barbara Bollier, remains too close to call, although a Bollier win would be regarded as significant upset.  Still, all the major national handicappers have the race at “Leans [or Tilts] R,” which means that such a result might well occur.

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