Dr. Milton Wolf’s primary challenge to Kansas Senator Pat Roberts fell shy last night, but by a much closer margin than just about anyone predicted, 48-41.
We supported Dr. Wolf, as someone who would help move the Republican Party and the Republic forward, departing from the stale insider Washington, D.C. games.
A “scandal” regarding some old Facebook posts of anonymous patient x-rays sapped Wolf’s momentum early in the race, and probably cost him some large backers who might otherwise agree with his politics.
But as the race progressed, Wolf picked up steam as Roberts faltered and became portrayed as a D.C. insider out of touch, both physically and philosophically, with Kansans.
Despite the loss, let’s give Dr. Milton Wolf a round of applause for fighting the good fight with enormous odds against him.
According to Politico, a key factor — if not the key factor — in Roberts’ win was help from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the same group that rescued Thad Cochran.
The NRSC is an incumbent protection organization, plain and simple. That’s its job, help protect Republican incumbents. Period. No matter how bad. No matter the implications for the Party long term.
Many people are critical of the NRSC, because they confuse the NRSC’s role.
The Republican establishment’s latest triumph over tea party activists in a Senate primary this year — Pat Roberts’ narrower-than-expected win over challenger Milton Wolf on Tuesday night — came with a big lift from party headquarters in Washington.
Roberts defeated Wolf, 48 percent to 41 percent; a pair of minor candidates combined for the remaining 11 percent of the vote.
Largely overlooked in the race was the fact that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is chaired by Roberts’ Kansas colleague, Sen. Jerry Moran, whom some far-right activists have threatened with a 2016 primary challenge. That made a win for the incumbent even more personal.
The party made a strategic decision to focus on turning out supporters in Wolf’s home base. Wolf lives and works in Johnson County, in the suburbs of Kansas City, and he needed a healthy margin there to offset Roberts’ strength in the sprawling 1st Congressional District on the western side of the state, which he represented in the House for 16 years.
The NRSC sent six workers to the Kansas City area for the final 10 days, and they knocked on more than 10,000 doors in Johnson County alone, a party official said. A Washington phone bank set up by the NRSC also made more than 40,000 phone calls in the final three weeks.
Ultimately, Roberts fought Wolf to a virtual tie in Johnson County. Wolf took 45.7 percent to Roberts’ 45.4 percent, a 147-vote edge.
D.C. insiders protected a D.C. insider.
Kansas still has a Senator who rarely visits the state.
Republicans have a Senator from Kansas to whom no one gives any thought because he has virtually no impact.
Stale past is in, bright future is on hold.
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