All the Republican infighting comes as the Democratic nominee, state Sen. Barbara Bollier, is racking up big bucks and courting Republican moderates. By the end of June, she had banked over $4.37 million—four times as much campaign cash as Marshall, and 30 times Kobach’s haul.
Meanwhile, internal Republican polling shows that the president has lost considerable ground in Kansas, a state he won with 57 percent of the vote in 2016. One operative involved in the Senate race said Trump is only up narrowly statewide, which has had a trickle-down effect downballot. A Republican candidate in the GOP-friendly 2nd District (state Treasurer Jake LaTurner) released an internal poll this week showing him leading the Democrat by only 1 point in a district that Trump carried by 19 points. In 2018, Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids comfortably won the suburban 3rd District, which looks likely to remain in Democratic hands.
Given that slippage, Republicans expect the general election to be unusually competitive, regardless of the GOP nominee. But if Kobach emerges, Republicans fret the race would be close to a lost cause. With two weeks to go, it’s surprising there isn’t more GOP urgency to rally around their most electable candidate.