If it wasn’t clear before in Kansas, it is now.
Republicans are seeking to install an enduring majority that will persist for years — maybe generations. They intend to derail the logic-defying tendency in this most Republican of states that sees GOP governors followed — not by another Republican governor — but by a Democrat.
That pattern has kept Kansas a middle-of-the-pack tax state instead of one of the lowest, Republicans argue. It’s kept Kansas as a state with a so-so business climate and not one of the nation’s best.
So, GOP “dominance” is the buzzword these days.
Voters witnessed that in 2010, in what will go down in state history as the “clean sweep” election that saw Republicans move into all six statewide offices and all six House and Senate seats. That election was the handiwork of David Kensinger, a long-time aide to Gov. Sam Brownback, whose operation was methodical, precise and unrelenting.
Kensinger promised a clean sweep, and he delivered.
Democrats have been hang-dogging it ever since, with many pinning their hopes on the notion that the pendulum will swing back. It always does.
Democrats also are pointing to Brownback’s tax cuts as so threatening to the state that they surely will result in anti-GOP sentiment. They point to the recent spate of endorsements from moderate Republicans siding with Democrats as a turning of the page.
This week, new signs emerged of just how far Democrats have to go. The Kansas GOP trumpeted new voter registration numbers that showed the Republican edge over Democrats at an all-time high. The old record in 2004 had the Republican edge at 329,000.
Now, it’s 342,000 — and growing.
Republicans also are close to their record voter registration total of 790,572. As of Oct. 1, the party stood at 782,161 to the Democrats’ 439,639.
Registering voters is one of the fundamental building blocks of American politics. And Republicans have been working to build their numbers for years.
The rising GOP numbers trashes the idea that all the infighting between moderates and conservatives has undermined party prospects. Just the opposite appears to be happening.
“It keeps an organization active and alive,” said Clay Barker, Kansas GOP executive director. Kansas Democrats look at all this and wonder.
“I’d like to see them go the other way for sure,” Joan Wagnon, leader of the Democrats, said of voter registration.
Democrats don’t play hardball with the same verve as Republicans. Maybe that needs to change, too.
“If Democrats want to make a comeback, they have a long ways to go,” Barker said.
Note in the mail this week on the issue that just won’t die: “Obama is trying to fool the American people — his birth certificate is not real.”
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