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Archive for Thursday, November 1, 2012

GOP suggests it might lose seats in Kansas House

November 1, 2012

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— Top Republicans say Tuesday's elections could cost them a few seats in the Kansas House and reduce the influence of the chamber's GOP conservatives.

Several Republicans said Thursday this year's redrawing of political district boundaries appears to have hurt the GOP in some places, especially in the Wichita area.

And Gov. Sam Brownback said he doesn't know how much power his fellow conservatives will have after Tuesday's voting.

Republicans now hold a 92-33 majority in the House. The powerful Kansas Chamber of Commerce counts 76 as conservatives.

Meanwhile, some Democrats questioned whether Republicans are hoping to lower expectations for Tuesday's outcome so the GOP can claim victory even if it loses a few seats. State Democratic Chairwoman Joan Wagnon won't predict the future balance of power in the House.

Comments

Antonym 2 years, 1 month ago

I hope they're correct about this one. Those nutjobs need some moderation.

chootspa 2 years, 1 month ago

Sadly, they won't lose their majority, even if they lost a few seats.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 1 month ago

Nothing in the JW digital edition about Romney-Ryan

Today's horror story.....President Ryan.

Almost as frightening as President Palin

Steve Jacob 2 years, 1 month ago

Very odd to being losing seats this year. Romney will win by such a large number here. I am very curious about the Holland-Brown race. I have had a postcard from Brown every day for a week attacking Holland, they must want him out bad. Heck, a judge had to stop the Republicans from putting Francisco and Holland in the same district.

2 years, 1 month ago

"Very odd to being losing seats this year. Romney will win by such a large number here."

Romney will win big, but the GOP is coming off an absolutely huge 2010, in which they went from 76 seats up to 92 (of 125). Once you control that many seats, gaining even more becomes much, much harder. In economic terms, you could call it decreasing marginal utility.

It is of note that 2010 was such a huge year for the GOP that the number of "conservatives" noted by the Chamber is equal to the total number of Republicans 2 years ago. Conservatives did in the house 2 years ago what they did in the senate this year. Going forward even more is a very hard slog.

2 years, 1 month ago

"Republicans now hold a 92-33 majority in the House. The powerful Kansas Chamber of Commerce counts 76 as conservatives."

So right now, assuming that everyone who's not a conservative is opposed to them (a silly assumption, but work with me), conservatives control the chamber (and therefore every committee) 76-54. That means they would have to lose 9 seats (surely that's more than "a few") to lose control, and even then, there's no guarantee that Republicans of a less conservative stripe would act like the moderate state senators and cut the conservatives out. It is not lost on moderates, I suspect, what happens when you do that.

But you do have to wonder what the marginal utility of even more conservative Republicans is at this point. Does having 80 or 90 or even 100 conservatives make the chamber more conservative than having 76? Heck, the Democrat I voted for in my house race is both pro-life and pro-gun - she's certainly a conservative in her own words. When she's elected, she'll probably make a more conservative chamber than her GOP rival will, because she'll be a conservative in a small, liberal party rather than one more conservative in a large, already conservative one.

All that said, who cares about "claiming victory"? If the GOP loses 5 seats or 10, if the conservatives lose 1 seat or 7, it will make no difference 2 days after the election. No one but political junkies care about claims of victory; they are also the least likely to be fooled by them.

average 2 years, 1 month ago

"But you do have to wonder what the marginal utility of even more conservative Republicans is that this point. Does having 80 or 90 or even 100 conservatives make the chamber more conservative than having 76?"

Sure. That gives gives them more room to 'RINO' out the 80th- or 90th-least conservative, even if they call him a 'conservative' today. Remember that many of those 16 'not conservative' Republicans (Vratil/Schodorf/Teichman/etc) were people who received Chamber of Commerce and Koch funding and endorsements only 2-4 years ago.

2 years, 1 month ago

You are correct in that but perhaps I was not clear. It takes 63 votes to pass something in the chamber. Once you have that 63, a 70-vote or an 80-vote or a unanimous vote does not make it more conservative. 76 votes means you can afford to lose 13 conservative votes and still pass legislation. Perhaps there will be some votes that 13 conservatives can't go along with, but I cannot imagine there will be that many.

average 2 years, 1 month ago

There are shades in conservatism all the way down. I hold that there's not a single member of the KS Legislature so pure in his conservatism that David Koch wouldn't fund a viable 'challenge from the right' against him. Nor do I expect there ever will be, since being able to fund a 'challenge from the right' is one of Koch's main political tools.

Again, several of the 'not conservatives' who Brownback has been fighting for the last two years were, not very long ago at all, well-funded right-wing challengers to old-guard Dole/Kassebaum-era 'moderate' Republicans.

pittstatebb 2 years, 1 month ago

Unless, the goal is not only control the chamber, but to also have a 2/3 majority so that you may pass amendments to the constitution of the state. For example, defining the definition of "suitable" as it applies to education, defining a "person" as a fertilized egg, etc.

2 years, 1 month ago

Dude, posting other people's words without attribution is called "plagiarism." And if you didn't know, that's a bad thing. How about you go back and try adding something of your own? http://m.atr.org/article.php?id=7203

George_Braziller 2 years, 1 month ago

I don't think that redrawing districts is what's going to cost the Republicans seats in the House, the ultra-conservative factions and the party in-fighting will do it. Voters on election day will let Brownie know that he has gone too far.

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