39 Days to Election Day: Kansas
This will be a very short entry as there is not much controversy or suspense in Kansas. As concerns the presidential race, Romney will take Kansas’ six electoral votes easily. This is a very red state and should be no problem. While liberals are touting the fact that Romney may go down to defeat of epic proportions in Massachusetts, the same can be said of Obama in Kansas.
With no Governor or Senatorial races on the ballot, that leaves the four House races- currently all Republican with all of them running for reelection. In fact, there is so much a lack of suspense that Tim Huelskamp in the First District and Kevin Yoder in the Third are running unopposed. In the Second, Lynn Jenkins- considered a moderate Republican- will face pastor Tobias Schlingenseipen (trying saying that three times). The biggest controversy in this race occurred in the Democratic primary when he said people “need the balls” to fix Congress which somehow was translated as being a sexist comment by his primary opponent, Robert Eye. In the Fourth, freshman Republican incumbent Mike Pompeo is more to the right ideologically than Jenkins. In 2010, he defeated Democratic opponent Raj Goyle by a huge amount. This year, he will face businessman and teacher Robert Tillman. In the money game, there is no competition as Tillman is largely self-funded. In short, all Republican representatives will be sent back to Congress.
The lone question on the ballot addresses the rate of taxation on personal use water craft and boats. Currently, boat owners are assessed a 30% personal property tax on the fair market value of their boats. This has led to declining boat ownership and registration in the state while neighboring Oklahoma has seen an increase because their tax is less onerous. Kansas estimates that it loses $300,000 annually to other states when it comes to boat registration. Additionally, the Coast Guard grants states 50 cents on every dollar they invest in boating safety programs. With declining boat registrations in the state, Kansas also loses out on this federal grant money. Also, boats are supposed to be registered in their state of principle use. But because this is difficult to ascertain let alone enforce, Kansas boat owners have simply registered their boats in neighboring states with lower or no property taxes on boats. A similar measure failed in 2000, but that initiative also attempted to alter the property tax structure on planes. This measure only addresses boats. Still, in 2000 the measure was narrowly defeated giving proponents of the tax cut this year a greater chance of success.
In conclusion: Romney will garner the 6 electoral votes out of Kansas while all four Republican incumbent representatives will return to Congress in 2013.
Running totals thus far: Obama leads in the electoral vote count 78-31 while Republicans control the Senate 13 seats to 11. In the House at this point, Democrats still lead 49-36 in seats.