The GOP is seriously worried about 2020 primaries in these key states — here's why
In order for Democrats to achieve a majority in the U.S. Senate in 2020, they would need to maintain all of the seats they are defending while picking up four seats presently held by Republicans. That’s a tall order, but it’s doable — especially if Democrats manage to enjoy some victories in red states. And according to a report by Jordain Carney for The Hill, two red states that have Republican operatives seriously worried are Alabama and Kansas.
According to Carney, GOP operatives fear that two Senate candidates who could help Democrats stage a comeback are Roy Moore in Alabama and Kris Kobach in Kansas. Both of them have the distinction of losing to Democrats in states that are even more Republican than Texas, where major urban centers like Houston, Austin, Dallas and El Paso lean Democratic.
A GOP strategist, interviewed on condition of anonymity, told The Hill that he or she is “cautiously optimistic” about Republicans maintaining their Senate majority in 2020 — that is, unless the GOP nominates candidates in Kansas and Alabama who could lose to Democrats.
That strategist told The Hill, “We don’t need to be having any problems” and described Kansas as “not a state we can stumble in. The map for the majority is OK, but if you have to start diverting resources to Kansas, it complicates things.” And that Republican described Alabama as a “must-win state” for the GOP.
In Alabama, the unthinkable happened in 2017: a centrist Democrat, Doug Jones, won a U.S. Senate seat. Moore, who was plagued with allegations of sexually pursuing teenage girls, lost to a Democrat in a state where Republicans have a huge advantage. Moore appears determined to run against Jones again in 2020 if he wins his party’s nomination. And President Donald Trump himself has been imploring Moore not to run.
Meanwhile, in Kansas, Republican operatives are worried about Kobach seeking the GOP nomination for a Senate seat presently held by Republican Pat Roberts. Kobach, who served as Kansas’ secretary of state, was defeated by centrist Democrat Laura Kelly when he ran for governor in 2018 — and calling him an embarrassment is an understatement. During the Barack Obama years, Kobach promoted the racist and idiotic “birther” conspiracy theory, which claimed that Obama wasn’t really born in the United States and was actually born in Kenya. Never mind the fact that Obama’s birth certificate clearly shows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961 — and he has been a United States citizen his entire life.
Another GOP strategist, also interviewed on condition of anonymity, told The Hill that “people like Kris Kobach and Roy Moore threaten” the GOP’s ability to maintain the Senate in 2020. Describing Kobach and Moore as an “unnecessary headache” and a “distraction,” that Republican asserted, “They both have a record of losses that doesn’t sit well with Republican voters.”
Roberts expressed reservations about Kobach running for the seat he presently holds, telling The Hill, “It seems to me that if you have just lost a statewide race that the chances of you winning, running again for another statewide race would be very difficult. Kris Kobach, once he makes up his mind, makes up his mind.”