Kansas 2020

Goal

Break the supermajority

Chamber Makeup

State Senate

11 Democrats

28 Republicans

1 Independent

State House

41 Democrats

84 Republicans

Opportunity Assessment

The extreme right-wing playbook was perfected in Kansas—and outsourced to state houses across the country. But in 2018, Kansans rebuked this extremist experiment by electing Democratic Governor Laura Kelly. Next stop, breaking the current supermajority in the legislature so it can’t thwart and weaken the new governor.

The Stakes

To find out what’s the matter with Kansas, you don’t have to look too hard: Right wing extremists have gutted vital services that actually help Kansans in favor of corporate welfare, all while taking radical action to ensure they can’t be held accountable at the ballot box. 

  • Implemented draconian cuts to education, infrastructure, and healthcare, while dramatically cutting taxes for corporations.

  • Insulated themselves from the will of voters, including a “proof of citizenship” voter intimidation law that disenfranchised over 30,000 Kansans.

  • Worked to thwart Medicaid expansion, while championing legislation to expand junk healthcare plans that hurt consumers, but are favored by corporate special interests.

2020 Political Landscape 

  • In 2020, the entire House and Senate are up for election and Democrats need to win two seats in the Senate and one in the House to break Republican supermajorities that can now override Gov. Kelly’s vetoes.

  • For decades, the most consequential political battles in Kansas were internal fights between the Republican Party’s moderate and conservative wings.  But as the party has gotten more extreme, moderate Republicans are changing parties. In 2018 alone, four Republican state legislators became Democrats, and a fifth became an independent.

  • In 2018:

    • Gov. Kelly won a majority of legislative districts in both chambers in her gubernatorial victory.  The Republican-held districts that she won are clustered in the state’s major population centers and seem to represent a potential majority coalition moving forward.

    • Republicans won eight House seats with less than 52% of the vote.

    • The State Senate was not up for election, which means Republicans in the chamber have not yet faced a post-Trump electorate.