In a November 19 article with the headline "Kansas Democrats’ victory seen as ‘bellwether’ for party," Lawrence Journal-World reporter Scott Rothschild wrote the following:
"Historically, Democrats have been the long-suffering minority party in Kansas. Of the state’s 1.66 million voters, 47 percent are registered as Republicans, 27 percent unaffiliated and 26 percent Democrat.
"But now, Democrats have established themselves as a tough, growing adversary to the dominant Republican Party."
Growing adversary? In 1999, Democrats made up 29 percent of the state's voters, which means they have lost 3 percentage points in just seven years. Republicans and unaffiliated voters have grown from 45 percent and 25 percent, respectively, during the same period.
In 2001, Republican Gov. Bill Graves served with 30 GOP senators in the Kansas Senate and 79 GOP representatives in the Kansas House. When the next legislative session begins in 2007, Democrat Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will serve with 30 GOP senators in the Kansas Senate and 78 GOP representatives in the Kansas House. In six years, the "growing adversary" has picked up just a single seat in the Kansas House. In the Kansas Senate, there are currently three fewer Democrats than in 1999.
Yes, but we now have a Democrat governor in an overwhelmingly Republican state. True, but during the past three decades Kansas also elected Democrats Bob Docking, John Carlin, and Joan Finney to the same office. When Finney was governor in 1992, Democrats actually had a majority in the Kansas House (63-62).
Kansans this November also elected a Democrat to serve as attorney general. However, just a year ago Paul Morrison was a Republican. It seems that a "tough, growing adversary" would be able to field candidates without recruiting from the other party. That Morrison ran unopposed in the Democrat primary suggests that the Kansas Democrat Party is weak, not tough.
The dictionary defines "bellwether" as "a male sheep, usually castrated, that wears a bell hung from its neck and is followed by a flock of sheep."
Rothschild would be wise to examine the facts and think for himself instead of following the folks wearing the bells in the liberal media.