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Archive for Thursday, January 5, 2012

With large field of candidates, Kansas GOP expects some notice in presidential race

Republican presidential candidates, clockwise from left, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Jon Hunstman will compete in the Kansas primary in March. Experts say Kansas could play a bigger role in the selection of the Republican candidate.

Republican presidential candidates, clockwise from left, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Jon Hunstman will compete in the Kansas primary in March. Experts say Kansas could play a bigger role in the selection of the Republican candidate.

January 5, 2012

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— Kansas has attracted a larger-than-expected field of candidates for the presidential caucuses in March, and Republican leaders hoped Thursday that the race remains competitive enough to draw some of the hopefuls — and national attention — to the state.

The state GOP scheduled the caucuses for March 10, the Saturday after Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses in 11 other states. Kansas officials said the National Republican Party's rules, which discourage states with contests before April from awarding delegates on a winner-takes-all basis, should help prevent the party's nomination from being settled.

Results from Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses Tuesday also gave them some hope that the race would remain competitive. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney maintained his status as the leading national candidate, but he was only a handful of votes ahead of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul also had a strong showing.

Eight candidates met the Dec. 31 filing deadline for the Kansas caucuses. Kansas GOP officials said they would have been pleased with four or five candidates on the ballot. Kansas will have 40 delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., in August.

"I'm still convinced that it could be very competitive," said Randy Duncan, GOP chairman for the 1st Congressional District of western and central Kansas. "Will Kansas make a difference? I would say yes. Will Kansas stand out? I would say yes."

The campaigns for Romney, Santorum and Paul all paid the $10,000 necessary for them to get on the ballot in the Kansas caucuses. So, too, did the campaigns of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Perry received an early endorsement from Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who campaigned for him in Iowa.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Georgia businessman Herman Cain also filed, but they have suspended their campaigns. The Kansas GOP's rules committee has not decided whether their names will remain on the ballot.

Kansas GOP Chairwoman Amanda Adkins noted that ahead of the Kansas caucuses, only about 40 percent of the 2,286 delegates to the Republican National Convention will have been allocated.

"The GOP delegate count will build very slowly," she said. "I think we are well-positioned in the schedule. We have a decent number of delegates, and so the interest should be there on the part of the presidential candidates to come to our state."

The candidate with the most votes statewide in Kansas will pick up three delegates — party officials who go to the convention automatically. The top vote-getter in each of the state's four congressional districts will receive three delegates. The remaining 25 delegates will be allocated among the candidates proportionally.

The caucuses are scheduled for 99 sites in 93 of the state's 105 counties.

Comments

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

This will be an interesting caucus in Kansas this time around. Time for the voters to show how attached they are to the ultra-right "conservative" policies they elected last time. If nothing else, we may see an indication as to how strong Brownback's base really is here.

Bob Forer 2 years, 11 months ago

I think i might change my affiliation from independent to republican for the sheer entertainment value of attending the caucus.

hyperinflate 2 years, 11 months ago

"Will Kansas make a difference? I would say yes. Will Kansas stand out? I would say yes."

We will likely be the only state where Perry will win.

Jeff Zamrzla 2 years, 11 months ago

I plan on bringing a chair and a popcorn stand to watch the crazy happen live and unscripted.

labmonkey 2 years, 11 months ago

Hopefully he will be wiped and flushed by March 10.

HoyaLaw89 2 years, 11 months ago

Love your picture. Huntsman is my choice as well. Truly conservative, but the religious righters fail to recognize this.

bad_dog 2 years, 11 months ago

"Republican leaders hoped Thursday that the race remains competitive enough to draw some of the hopefuls — and national attention — to the state."

Well they can certainly accomplish the national attention portion of their agenda by keeping Mike O'Neal close to a computer with internet access.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 11 months ago

This is all very funny. Kansas does not matter one whit in national politics, although a dangerously significant group of the voters seem to think so and worship Rush Limbaugh.

The only national notice we get is when our elected leaders step on their appendages, which they do with great regularity, and it makes the evening news.

Are tthere really tornados in Kansas??? How is Dorothy and Toto doing??

So much for Kansas in the national perspective.

Bob Forer 2 years, 11 months ago

The circus is coming! The circus is coming! Oh, joy. Bring on the clowns.

sourpuss 2 years, 11 months ago

Dream on. Why should ANYONE care about Kansas's political leanings? We've got 6 votes. 6. Out of the 200+ you need to win an election in America. We don't even matter for primaries. We don't matter in the general election because you can just paint Kansas red and move on. The Reps don't have to campaign and the Dems won't bother. If you want your vote to matter to anyone, move.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 11 months ago

Looking at that line-up of GOP aspirants is thrilling. Big fun to come.

I suspect Rick "FMOFMAL" Santorum will do well in Kansas.

Popcorn, anyone!

beatrice 2 years, 11 months ago

ywn, your popcorn is likely to get stale waiting for people to get excited by this bunch. For all the people who voice their desire of getting rid of Obama, it sure doesn't transfer to any of the Republican candidates. I find that interesting. Only candidate who has any real passionate support on here has been Paul, and only then by a small number of people.

I suspect that does not bode well for the Republicans.

viva_la_revolucion 2 years, 11 months ago

I suspect that does not bode well for the Democrats either. The Republican Party will not nominate Paul. Republicans hate Ron Paul. However if he can keep his momentum going and someone else gets the Republican nomination, I predict Paul will run as an Independent. If that turns out to be true, Obama will lose the 18-30 age group vote and lose the election.

Steve Jacob 2 years, 11 months ago

Don't know why people think Paul will take away Obama voters. It will hurt Romney much more.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 11 months ago

I might agree if you said the 3-10 age group, as Ron Paul is starting to resemble a muppet. Just look at his photo with this story.

beatrice 2 years, 11 months ago

Viva, thanks for the response. I don't come to the same conclusion, however. I think Paul, a Republican with strong Libertarian views, would draw from the fellow Republican candidate should he run as an Independent. If he gets enough interest in that direction, it could prove to be the necessary catalyst at some day having a viable third party. But that might just be wishful thinking.

Steve Jacob 2 years, 11 months ago

I am still a Republican from switching parties to vote in the 2010 Senate primary, so I might go. For sure it would be Romney, but I would probably vote Obama in the general election.

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