Media Misses it in Kansas

Posted: Jun 04, 2009 5:15 PM
Because of I have family living in the Big First District of Kansas, I have written about the high-profile Congressional race shaping up there.

Well, everyone is now excited about a moderate State Senator named Jim Barnett who has now thrown his hat in the race.  By my estimation, this is akin to when General Wes Clarke hopped in the Democratic primary late n 2003.  It's always important to remember that he media loves a spectacle, but it's hard for someone to catch up with candidates who've been campaigning for a year already.

In any event, the media are excited about Barnett -- so excited they are willing to do ridiculous things to make him the "frontrunner."  For example, CQ is usually a respected outlet, but their reporter -- Susannah Clark -- ran a profile of Barnett.  The only source she used was a liberal Democratic blogger, who, of course, said nice things about him.  Honestly she couldn't find a more credible source to talk about a Republcian Congressional primary election than a liberal blogger???  But it gets worse.  Clark's reporting made it sound like Barnett -- who previously ran for governor -- had won The Big First District.

A blog called the Swingstate Project picked up on it and actually wrote that Barnett "lost the state as a whole to Kathleen Sebelius, but won the dark-red 1st"  He didn't.  That's right, Jim Barnett couldn't even win the most conservative Republican district in the state of Kansas.

In fact, he performed worse state-wide than any Republican candidate for Governor since 1972…Barnett won 34 counties in the 1st, Sebelius 35 counties – in a district with 53% Republican, 22% Democrat registration today (and certainly not that much different in 2006) – 30% voter registration advantage.  Weak, weak candidate.