Depending on which Kansas Republican you want to listen to, Kansas is either seeing record voting turnout numbers- upwards of 78% by election day with almost 30% of registered voters casting advance ballots- because of the "Obama Effect" or because 78-year-old Republican Senator Pat Roberts has captivated the minds of Kansans young and old alike, driving them en masse to register to vote and stand in long lines at the polls.
You know, it's awfully hard to snicker in writing.
So, here are your perspectives:
Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh on Friday predicted a record voter turnout in Kansas -- caused in part by what he called the “Obama Effect.”
The candidacy of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has produced a surge in voter registration, especially among 18- to 30-year-olds, said Thornburgh, who is a Republican.
“We’re seeing that not only in the state of Kansas but we’re seeing that around the country as well,” he said.
Or, if you'd rather, Christian Morgan's partisan delusion:
“Despite what you might have heard from Ron Thornburgh’s press conference today crediting the ‘Obama Effect’ for increased voter interest in Kansas, below is the real story from Senator (Pat) Roberts’ campaign about the great progress we have made in Republican voter registration and turnout efforts this year,” the release from Kansas Republican Party executive director Christian Morgan said.
We're just going to ignore the crazy "Pat Roberts is the reason people are flooding to the polls" blather and instead focus on the second half of the quote- the part about "the great progress we have made in Republican voter registration" this year.
Christian, dearheart, sometimes your lies are just silly unverifiable prattle, but today you've it upon something that can be proven untrue...with numbers and charts and graphs, even!
According to data compiled by Washburn Univeristy political science professor Bob Beatty, the Kansas Republicans Party doesn't come into the 2008 election with particularly good news on the new voter registration front:
Since 2006, Shawnee County [which accounts for 30% of the district's voters- BB] has added 6,641 voters, a 6.5 percent increase. Of those new registrants, 3,369 are Democrats compared to 2,999 unaffiliated and 223 Republican.
Douglas County, home to 20 percent of district voters, has gained 6,157 registered voters since '06. An astounding 4,944 of the registrants are Democrats, while 1,611 are unaffiliated. Republican numbers actually decreased by 400 registrants.
In Crawford County, Republican registrants went down by 830 registrants, or 10 percent. Democrats added 367, a 4 percent increase, and unaffiliated increased by 550, or 8 percent. [Additionally, Republicans have also lost about 500 voters in Riley County, compared to the Democrats picking up another 1,000 or so. Oh, also, emphasis ours.]
While Republicans certainly still outnumber Democrats in most of the state of Kansas, we wish Christian would share whatever it is he's been smoking if he really does believe Kansas Republicans have done a good job registering new voter.
When the arrow is pointing down, Christian, it's always always a bad sign.
Jenkins should be pleased, of course, to see increase in Republican registrations in a couple of counties that Jim Ryun did very, very well in 2 years ago:
Of 624 new registrants in Pottawatomie County, 464 registered as Republicans but only 91 as Democrats and 87 unaffiliated. In Miami County, there are 676 newly registered Republicans compared to 499 Democrats. Another 739 are unaffiliated.
Good news, yes, but Boyda's advantage in counties that make up 41% of the electorate probably negates Lynn's happy feelings.
What's the final word, Dr. Beatty?
Analyses of several key counties — minus Geary, which only has a handful of voters in the 2nd — shows momentum in the 2nd district with new registered voters is not with the Republicans.
So, Christian, you said something about Republicans doing a good job registering new voters?