1970 RD 3 Weskan, KS 67762
300 SW 10th St, Suite 512N Topeka, KS 66612
Tale of Two States
Kansas appears very Republican, according to how we voted in the 2016 Presidential Election. But, hundreds of thousands of the unaffiliated voters marked their ballot for Trump.
Kansas becomes a little more "purple" when you look at the voter registration numbers in proportion to the Republican / Democrat / Unaffiliated population.
The next governor of Kansas MUST obtain a large portion of the unaffiliated vote for a November victory.
Kansas - By The Numbers
Here are some interesting (and vitally important!) statistics about some of the upcoming election data.
796,000 (44%) Republicans
558,000 (31%) Unaffiliated
436,000 (24%) Democrats
16,800 (1%) Libertarians
Kansas House of Representatives
(All up for re-election this year)
currently held by...
85 (68%) Republican
40 (32%) Democrat
45 districts uncontested seats in General Election
(26 Republican / 19 Democrat)
The 120th District 2016 Presidential Voting was
82.5% Trump / 12.5% Clinton
Interpreting the Numbers...
Race for Governor:
As I travel the district and visit with constituents, many people ask me about the governor's race. Some constituents ask how such a "red" Republican state could elect a Democrat or other minority party/independent candidate.
Well, the proof is in the pudding... and the most crucial flavor in any statewide race is "Unaffiliated"
As you can see from the total registered voter data above, Republicans are certainly a majority in Kansas, but not so much that another candidate could not overtake the Republican candidate with cross-party support from their other minority parties. With a well-known independent candidate this year, unaffiliated voters will be split even more... but how much?
It may also reasonable to speculate that some voters register without affiliating because they're just not that interested in politics. If that is true, the unaffiliated voters could also have the lowest voter turnout and therefore a lower impact on the races.
The unaffiliated vote is the most unpredictable, and that why so much money is spent on advertising trying to reach those who are disenfranchised with politics and the political parties! I just told my wife last night as we sat through the 12th (or perhaps it was the 13th? ...I lost count) television political ad while we watched the local news, "These commercials aren't convincing me any differently about my vote, but they sure are fighting for that undecided voter!"
It's just disappointing that you rarely see positive ads for the candidates anymore... it seems to always be negative ads about the opponents.
An old adage I believe is that if you want to have the tallest building in town, you have to earn it... do the work and build the tallest building, don't build an average building and then try to tear all the taller ones down.
Kansas House of Representatives
IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE IN THIS EMAIL... READ THIS!!!
Only two years ago, Republicans enjoyed a super-majority in the legislature - the House had 97 seats (77.6%) and the Senate had 32 seats (80%). The 2016 election saw the House lose 12 Republican seats to Democrats - leaving Republicans with the lowest total since 2011 when there were 77 Republicans in the House. Now at 85 seats, the Republican party is dangerously close to losing the two-thirds majority necessary to override a veto.
All Democrats have to do is win 19 of the 65 contested seats (23 Democrats / 37 Republicans are uncontested in the upcoming election) to achieve the 42 seats necessary. And about 10 of those contested seats are already held by strong incumbent Democrats in their respective district.
Conservatives - don't get comfortable thinking this one is in the bag! Over-confidence and voter apathy is our biggest enemy!
If the Democrats gain two House seats AND win the Governor's race, we will see a major shift to the left in Kansas politics!
Conservative legislation may get blocked with no way of over-riding the veto! Even simple legislation could become the victim of a power-struggle if the Democratic party digs its heels in and demands certain legislation be passed. With the race for governor being so close, the races for the Kansas House of Representatives become key components this election.
Unless Republicans lose an unlikely 23 seats, the entire legislature looks to keep a conservative simple majority, so it is not necessary to claim "The sky is falling" for conservatives quite yet. But having a minority party governor and veto-sustaining numbers in the House significantly increases the Democrats political power and would stagnate most of Republican party agenda.
120th District Representative
With nearly 70% of the registered voters in the 120th District, the Republican party does not appear to have the same issue as the statewide races when it comes to the proportion of unaffiliated voters.
However, as I have pointed out in multiple conversations as I travel the district, I don't believe voter registrations accurately reflect the proportionate political ideology. In many of our rural communities, local elected offices frequently have only Republican candidates competing for office. This encourages minority party voters to switch their affiliation to Republican so they can have a voice in their local elections, unless there is a major contested top-ballot minority party primary race. This would obviously over-estimate the true Republican voters and under-estimate the minority-party voters.
Also, the voter turnout is fractional compared to total registrations - only 27% of registered voters statewide participated in the August primary... and that was considered a good turnout! If 30% of Republicans vote in the 120th district, that's only a little over 20% of the overall registered voters... and much closer to the numbers of the minority parties if they turnout well.
Your Vote ALWAYS Matters!
In the six counties that make up the 120th District, it has been quite some time since they have elected a Democrat to the House of Representatives. The 120th District looks a little different after each census and subsequent redistricting, so I took a look at each individual county historically. The Kansas State Archives maintains an extensive list of legislators past and present. A quick search of their database shows that for most counties of the 120th, it has been over 60 years (and in some cases nearly 100 years) since they have sent a Democrat representative to the Capitol. Being somewhat of a history nut - this looks like a good research project for me. Hmmm... I'll add that to my growing list of things to do "when I have some spare time"!
All this being said, one thing I learned well while growing up and playing sports in northwest Kansas (and again now that I'm a coach) is that you never take any victory for granted! I sincerely respect my opponent and have to say he has been one of the most class-act political opponents I have faced. He is a good, honorable man with a strong background in northwest Kansas agriculture, and I consider him a formidable opponent. We just happen to differ quite a bit on our political viewpoints!
Therefore, I would appreciate your vote and the opportunity to continue as a strong voice for our families, our communities, and our rural values in the State Capitol.
I am human and I will make mistakes, and there may have been votes of mine you questioned or opposed. While I always try to vote the majority opinion of the district, some topics are a very close and I must use my best judgement based on reason and the facts of the situation without emotion and prejudice. I will always be happy to visit with you to explain my reasoning for a certain vote, but I will also always have an open ear to your position and respect your opinion.
Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to represent you and this amazing area we all call home! Many people say this is a thankless job, but they don't know northwest Kansas. I am constantly humbled by the appreciation and gratitude expressed by the terrific people from this area! Whether I'm at a meeting, picking up repair parts from the dealership, or catching a ballgame, folks will stop me for a short conversation and they nearly always express their appreciation for the time and effort I put into my duties.
Yes, I am truly honored to represent all of the fine people from northwest Kansas ...you make it all worthwhile!
I ran a 20 For $20 Campaign Kickoff for the primary election, and was overwhelmed by the participation and support from my northwest Kansas constituents!
Your help gave me a great start on the campaign trail this year, and now time is winding down as the final election draws near.
To finish strong, I'm challenging myself to a little higher goal.
With a challenger from the Democrat party on the ballot, I could use your help!
First and foremost, I ask for your vote. I am humbled and honored by the trust and confidence you have placed in me to do the best job I can for northwest Kansas for the past two years.
Secondly, I would ask you to consider a financial contribution, if your household budget allows.
You can't let up in the 4th quarter of a football game - you've got to finish strong - and I intend to do the same for a victory, too!
A productive offense can build a nice lead, but it's up to the defense to protect that lead. Therefore, I'm running a 4th Quarter Blitz - I'm challenging my team of supporters for 30 contributions of $30 before the October 25th fundraising deadline.
Every local dollar is very important and appreciated! Your contribution of $30 or a different amount will help seal the victory!
However, if a donation just doesn't fit in your budget right now, I completely understand and would appreciate your vote!
Advance Voting has begun - vote early if you might be busy or gone on November 6th!
DONATE BY MAIL
You can also send you campaign contributions by mail to:
1970 Road 3
Weskan, KS 67762
Thank you once again for your vote and your support!
Paid for by Smith for Kansas, Christine Smith Treasurer