For 6 years–more, really–Democrats have been pounding on the message that Donald Trump is a fascist who is hell bent on destroying democracy itself. There is no depth to which he will not dive in order to seize power and impose his evil will on the country.
His supporters are deplorable fascists whose violent impulses lead them to parade around in white robes raping and pillaging across the countryside. Should Democrats lose in 2022 America is done. It is a stark message amplified by every MSM media outlet and endlessly repeated by Democrats from the president on down. Democracy is on the ballot in 2022.
Joe Biden is going to give yet another speech on this topic tonight. Really. Because Americans will finally WAKE UP! about the dangers. Surely. Mega-Ultra-MAGA something something something.
Except the message doesn’t work, especially in states like Kansas, which awarded 56% of the vote to Trump and only 42% to Biden in 2020. And if democracy isn’t on the ballot in Kansas, the current Democrat governor certainly is.
Kansas has a hotly contested governor’s race. The Democrat incumbent Laura Kelly won a 3-way race in 2018–a pretty awful year for Republicans–with 48% of the vote. This year she also faces two challengers, a conservative Independent and Republican Derek Schmidt. Kelly is running as a centrist who works with both parties, as one must in a state like Kansas where Biden’s net approval is 24% underwater. Her one hope for survival is getting enough Independents to squeak by while conservatives split the vote among the Republican and Independent candidates.
Polling is sketchy, but RCP is predicting a Republican pick up, and I would tend to agree. The three-way nature of the race makes a Republican victory less likely, but when a Democrat is advertising her willingness to work with Trump you know there is the stench of panic in the backroom strategy sessions.
Kelly is so panicked about the race that she hasn’t shied away from touting her willingness to work with Donald Trump when he was president, something that one would expect would be a no-no for a Democrat. She featured Trump in one of her commercials, while not explicitly praising him. Her opponent, Schmidt, has been endorsed by Trump and touts that endorsement at every turn.
To win re-election in a state where Donald Trump beat Joe Biden 56% to 41% in 2020, Gov. Laura Kelly is attempting to replicate the coalition of voters she drew four years ago that included Democrats, independents and a slice of defector Republicans. She is one of four Democratic governors in states that voted for Mr. Trump.
Her GOP opponent, Attorney General Derek Schmidt, is seeking to galvanize the state’s conservatives to vote for him as part of a broader rejection of Democrats.
The differing strategies have led the two candidates to largely talk past each other in a contest analysts consider a tossup.
“There’s two races going on,” said Bob Beatty, a political-science professor at Washburn University in Topeka. “Laura Kelly wants voters to walk in on Election Day and think about her. Republicans want those voters thinking about Joe Biden.”
A poll released in September by Emerson College showed Ms. Kelly leading 45% to 43%, a difference within the margin of error.
She has also taken shots at Leftists, flat out rejecting the transgender ideology in a commercial before pivoting to education funding:
Is Kelly’s strategy a one-off attempt to escape the stink of Leftism in a state that isn’t friendly to Left-wing politics, or is her campaign a signal that Democrats are waking up to the poison that Leftism has been to their party? I suspect the former, but perhaps after the shellacking the Democrats will get in the midterms perhaps there will be a reckoning in the party.
I doubt it though.