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Saturday, October 28, 2006

KS-02: DCCC Launches a Surprise Intervention

Posted by James L.

From the AP:

House Democrats launched a surprise television attack against Rep. Jim Ryun of Kansas on Friday night, hoping to increase the number of competitive races in the battle for control of Congress.

Ryun “voted against a $1,500 combat bonus for our troops, but voted to give himself a huge pay raise — twice,” the ad says of the five-term lawmaker.

It praises his rival, Nancy Boyda, as “honest and independent — the right change for Kansas.”

The district, centered on Topeka, has been in Republican hands since 1995. The race had not generally been described by strategists in either party as a competitive one, and the commercial does not mention that Boyda is a Democrat.

Aside from some internal polling showing a tight race that some questioned, KS-02 was definitely not a race on the radar screen this cycle. But with Sebelius on the top of the ticket and Ryan performing at his weakest in 2004, perhaps the DCCC is sensing some vulnerability here. If I recall correctly, Chuck Todd of the National Journal called this a seat that could very well flip in a wave, anti-incumbent year. If the D-trip is making a last-minute intervention here, it might bode well for the chances of other 2nd and 3rd tier candidates receiving an unexpected boost.

Keep your eyes peeled for more last-week surprises.

Update: And it's not chump change, either: the DCCC is putting over $300,000 into this district, on ads both attacking Ryun and boosting Boyda. They're also spending nearly $200k on attack ads against Republican Rep. Ron Lewis (KY-02), which is also a bit eyebrow-raising.

Posted at 04:28 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kansas | Technorati

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I beg to differ that this race was on no ones radar screen. I have posted about this race several times making the very arguments that the DCCC is now using to swing in behind Nancy BOYDA's campaign. Better late than never, I just hope it gives Nancy the push she needs to beat RYUN by a nose. She has a ground game, but was a race that truly needed national assistance. Now that the DCCC is backing their strong nominee it is time remove the ultimate back bencher, Jim RYUN.

Nancy ran in 2004 and held RYUN to a career low 56% in a presidential election year where BUSH ran strong. Part of the reluctance of the DCCC likely traces to Rahm EMMANUEL who did back Nancy up in 2004 and thus he wrote her off in 2006. The EMMANUEL target races vs. the DEAN seed strategy debate plays out here, just as it is doing in Id-1 which would never, ever be targeted but blossomed due to Howard DEAN's 50 State strategy according to Idaho Democratic State Chair Richard STALLINGS.

In 2006 a very popular Democrat Gov. Kathleen SEBELIUS heads the ticket in a year where the GOP Attorney General Phil KLINE is widely seen as a sure loser for re-election (easily the worst AG in America at the moment). The civil war in the GOP is very real in Kansas and the Dems would be wise to target Kansas for party switch-overs after the 2006 elections. A new legislative majority oftens attracts a few party switchers in the months following an institutional turnover in power. I hope Howard DEAN and Nancy PELOSI have someone working on who these turnovers could be. History suggests there should be a few seats pluckable, after a tide election. Something to think about. Who?

Posted by: walja [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 29, 2006 01:36 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

What is it with folks going around putting people's last NAMES in all caps.

We can read just fine.

Posted by: Karl-T [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 29, 2006 07:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Wow, Great news here Charlie Cook has moved KS-2 from leans GOP all the way to toss up!.

I have been telling anyone who would listen about this race. Nancy BOYDA is well positioned to take this seat.

Lazy over-confident incumbents lose in wave elections and the blue wave is growing in KS in 2006. The Religious Right has over reached with the antics of Attorney General Phil KLINE and the repeated embarassing battles over creationism in the schools. Kansas for most of its history has been agricultal populist moderate libertarian Republicans. The hard right has alienated the female voter in Kansas and in a week the story in Kansas is going to be "I am woman, here me roar!" as they kick the Republicans to the door.

RYUN's campaign is in a death spiral. The DCCC picked the right time to act here.

Posted by: walja [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 31, 2006 02:19 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment