The Cook Political Report moved Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District from “Likely Republican” to “Leans Republican” in its latest report, a nonpartisan newsletter that analyzes campaigns and political trends.
Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins has said she will not seek re-election in the Kansas 2nd Congressional District. The district includes Topeka, Leavenworth, and Lawrence. The report notes that President Trump won the 2nd district by 19 points in 2016. However, Democratic candidate Paul Davis won the district, 51-45 percent, when he ran for governor against Sam Brownback in 2014.
“…Although he won’t have the luxury of running against dreadfully unpopular GOP Gov. Sam Brownback this time, the GOP field is a mess in the wake of the moderate Jenkins’s retirement,” Cook reports.
There are a number of Republicans vying for the seat including state Sens. Steve Fitzgerald and Caryn Tyson as well as Kansas Rep. Kevin Jones. Former Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave is also seeking the Republican nomination. So, too, are Vernon Fields, a Basehor city council member, and Matt Bevens, a former Topeka City Council candidate.
“Davis allies love that this field won’t sort itself out until next August’s primary,” Cook reports.
Democrats need to flip 24 seats in the U.S. House to gain a majority, and two Kansas districts, including the second, are likely targets. The 3rd district, represented by Republican Kevin Yoder, is likely another target. Cook also lists that race as “Leans Republican.”
“It wouldn’t be surprising if polls next year show Davis ahead thanks to name ID from past races, but Democrats still probably have a better shot in the 3rd CD,” according to the Cook Report.