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More signs point to political changes in Kansas next year

Published On: Nov 15 2013 07:27:13 PM CST
WICHITA, Kan. -

The Washington Post today highlighted 15 states that could see a change in the the party in charge next November ... including Kansas.

It pointed specifically to our FactFinder 12 Scientific Survey showing Gov. Sam Brownback's falling approval ratings.

"I think there is a strong possibility (for change)," said Russell Fox, professor of political science at Friends University. "Which, you know, is a lot more than you'd normally be able to say for a gubernatorial election in a state as strongly Republican as Kansas is."

Political scientists say there's been a big change in Kansas politics in the last couple of years.

"Brownback, after his election, made it pretty clear that he saw himself as leading a revolution here in Kansas," Fox said. "He was going to purify the Republican party."

And in the mid-term elections, Brownback supported ultra-conservative candidates over more moderate candidates.

"Primary contests cleaned out a lot of moderate Republicans," Fox said. "And a lot of people that maybe didn't even consider themselves moderates, but they weren't absolutely on the same page as the governor."

That wasn't something that sat well with some Kansas voters.

"Their understanding of what the party label meant and their understanding of conservative is a little more moderate than what you have seen coming out of Topeka," Fox said. "What you have seen Brownback embrace."

The campaign for Paul Davis, Brownback's opponent, sees articles like the Washington Post's as good news. Davis supporters say his ability to work with others is a big part of his campaign.

Brownback's office did not return our call.

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