Out of step and out of touch: The matter with Kansas in the 2014 midterm election

Seth C. McKee, Ian Ostrander, M. V. Hood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In recent years the politics of Kansas, with its strong historic ties to the Republican Party, have taken a hard right turn. This political environment mirrors many other states in which one political party effectively dominates the policymaking process. But while political dominance may aid incumbency it can also contribute to the kinds of political excess that tend to promote electoral backlashes. In this paper, we use a survey of likely Kansas voters during the 2014 midterm elections to examine opinions and voting preferences related to two state-wide races in which incumbent overreach played a prominent role. In particular, we examine the reelection campaigns of Governor Brownback, as his remarkably austere and highly unpopular budget left him ideologically out of step with most voters, and Senator Roberts, as his lack of residence in the state after years of serving in the Senate left him out of touch with a disgruntled electorate. Although both Republicans survived reelection, their actions ensured an unusually competitive midterm in an otherwise deep red state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-312
Number of pages22
JournalForum (Germany)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2017


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