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Democratic enthusiasm & Republican depression

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(Cross posted from BoydaBloc- http://boydabloc.blogspot.comThis last weekend was a big one for Kansas politics. Both Kansas Democrats and Kansas Republicans held events, as they always do the weekend before Kansas Day.Now, normally, the event that's the bigger deal, the even that brings in the really big crowds and the big money, is the KS GOP state convention- creatively named "Kansas Days."Kansas is a Republican state, right? That means lots of excited Republicans getting ready for a great year of stomping Democrats, right?Wrong, it seems. From all the reports, both media and otherwise, this year's Kansas Days was a massive embarrassment for the KS GOP. Fewer than 300 people showed up for the festivities, and eyewitnesses say both Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins where lucky to have more than 25 sad souls visiting their receptions. The only person Jim could find in his empty room to talk to was non-constituent Speaker of the House Melvin "Greenhouse Gases are good for you" Neufeld.Democrats, on the other hand, held the annual Shawnee County Democrats Bean Feed, which was started years ago to point out a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans: while they're having a fancy $50-a-pop sit down dinner, the Democrats charge ya $10 and we have ham & beans and cornbread in a shelter house at Gage Park.Normally the Bean Feed attaches 100-150 folk (it is just a one county party event, after all), but this year the folks in charge decided to up the energy a bit, and turned it into a pre-caucus blowout. Still $10, and still ham & beans with cornbread, but instead of a shelter house at Gage Park, the ballroom at the Downtown Ramada, and instead of 100 people, 450-500 people, representatives from all the major presidential campaigns and more enthusiasm and excitement than this cynical D could believe.As we move into the Kansas Caucuses, that same divide is apparent- Kansas Democrats worry we won't know what to do with huge overflow crowds statewide, while Republicans worry about a PR disaster when no one shows up.It's things like these, folks, that help all of us be that much more sure that Congressman Dennis Moore will be re-elected in 2008, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda will be re-elected in 2008, and Greg Orman will be our new United States Senator in 2008. It'll never be easy to be a Democrat in Kansas, but with Republicans this depressed and Democrats this engaged, it makes things just a little big easier.

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