Sunflower State Beatdown: Voters Turn Out In Droves For Kansas Caucuses; UPDATE: Almost Every Precinct Ran Out Of Ballots

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Mar 05, 2016 5:27 PM
Sunflower State Beatdown: Voters Turn Out In Droves For Kansas Caucuses; UPDATE: Almost Every Precinct Ran Out Of Ballots

UPDATE: Something I forgot to add from FiveThirtyEightjust a general overview. In short, a Cruz victory is expected:

At stake: 40 delegates: 12 district, 28 statewide

Delegate targets to be on track to win nomination: Trump 16, Cruz 20, Rubio 13

We have just two polls in Kansas, the minimum number FiveThirtyEight’s model requires to issue a forecast. That forecast makes Donald Trump a slight favorite, but Kansas holds closed caucuses (only registered Republicans can vote), and Trump has underperformed with self-identified Republicans, so don’t be surprised if he loses here. Trump hasn’t done all that well in caucuses, and Ted Cruz won Kansas’s southern neighbor, Oklahoma, and Iowa, just to the northeast. Three delegates are awarded proportionally in each of Kansas’s four congressional districts, with no minimum thresholds. So Cruz, Trump and Marco Rubio will likely split those. An additional 25 delegates are proportionally awarded to each candidate who finishes above 10 percent statewide. Those too will likely be split among Cruz, Trump and Rubio. Another three delegates go to the statewide winner.

UPDATE II: With 41 percent reporting, Cruz is maintaining his solid lead:

UPDATE III: Almost every precinct ran out of ballots:

UPDATE IV: The Ace of Spades Decision Desk crew has called the GOP caucuses for Cruz.

***Original Post***

As Kansas’s voters prepare to vote in the Democratic and Republican caucuses today, huge lines were reported outside of some precincts. A local ABC News affiliate reported that some folks waited over two hours before they could cast their ballots. The caucuses closed at 3 p.m. eastern standard time (2 p.m. local), where Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is starting off strong, garnering 50 percent of the vote with 12 percent of the results tallied. Donald Trump is second with 24.5 percent, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is third at 13.7 percent. Those who are waiting in line, some of whom faced a five-hour round-trip commute to their caucus sites, will still be allowed to participate (via Kansas City Star):

Republicans and Democrats in Kansas made their choices for president Saturday, standing in long lines at dozens of caucus sites scattered across the state.

[…]

Democrats opened their sites at 1 p.m. and started counting votes at 3 p.m. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who campaigned Thursday in Lawrence, were the voters’ choices.

Republicans opened their caucuses at 10 a.m., with balloting ending at 2 p.m. The lines were long — the wait easily exceeded two hours at some sites in Johnson County, with similar waits reported at other caucuses.

At the Shawnee Mission South caucus site, GOP officials ran out of printed ballots. Votes were cast on note cards.

“Shawnee, Sedgwick and Johnson Counties have seen extremely long lines and voters are being processed as rapidly as possible,” said GOP chairman Kelly Arnold in a statement Saturday afternoon. “We are shifting resources to assist those locations.”

Arnold said anyone in line at 2 p.m. was still be allowed to cast a ballot. Returns, he said, might be delayed.

“I don’t mind at all,” said Syd Taylor of Prairie Village as he waited in line. “I want to to hear what other people have to stay.” He said he planned to cast his ballot for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Delegates will be allocated proportionally based on today’s results.