The Republican Party is so damaged that even in deep red state Kansas, Republican Governor Sam Brownback is trailing Democrat Paul Davis 43%-39%.
According to a new SurveryUSA poll, Davis leads Brownback 43%-39%. Only 59% of Republicans support Gov. Brownback. The governor gets the support of 62% of conservatives, but trails Davis with moderates, 58%-28%. There are several things happening in Kansas that mirror the problems of the national Republican Party.
Brownback is at the center of a Republican civil war in Kansas. The governor helped to oust moderate Republicans from the state senate in 2012. He also alienated moderates by signing a tax reform bill that both liberal and conservative experts consider to be the worst piece of tax reform legislation passed in the entire country.
Gov. Brownback’s tax cut was a Republican dream come true. It reduced income taxes on the top two brackets, slashed corporate taxes, and made LLC pass through income non-taxable. The Republicans paid for this gift to the wealthy by raising taxes on working people, the poor, and senior citizens. Of course, this scheme blew a giant hole in the state’s budget which Brownback tried to fix by slashing hundreds of millions of dollars in education spending, laying off public sector workers, and cutting transportation funding.
National Review published a lengthy profile of Brownback where they enthusiastically paint Kansas as a model for the country and suggest that Brownback is a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, while the voters back home are seriously contemplating throwing him out of office.
Brownback is trailing a Democrat in a state where Republicans hold every statewide office, and the entire congressional delegation. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the state 46% to 25%. Democrat Paul Davis has a chance to win because Brownback has taken the state too far to the right for many in Kansas. Moderates, which in Kansas mostly means moderate Republicans, are supporting Davis because the ALEC/tea party/Koch agenda is unpopular with them.
National Republicans and their media are so out of touch with reality that they are touting the presidential future of a governor whose policies are so unpopular that he might not get a second term.
If Davis won, he would be a conservative Democratic governor, but a Brownback defeat would be a supreme humiliation for far right Republicans and their agenda.
The Republican Party may have finally become too extreme for even deep red state Kansas to tolerate.