How a conservative darling could lose his conservative state

Brownback’s tax cuts have not only diminished state revenue but led to cuts in education that even the state Supreme Court has unacceptable.

Teachers, who are also angry about recent state legislation stripping them of tenure, are now protesting the governor wherever he appears. It’s not a huge surprise that teachers and their union are opposed to a Republican governor, but it does lend the Davis campaign an army of volunteers.

“You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting somebody that’s pissed off about what he’s doing,” says Dan Watkins, a former executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party.

What may be most dangerous for Brownback is opposition from fellow Republicans. Kansas has long had, in effect, a three-party system, with moderate and conservative Republicans operating as separate, unfriendly camps.

Until 2012, moderates still controlled the state Senate, but Brownback and his allies targeted and ousted several of them in GOP primaries that year.