A former Republican could win the Kansas Senate race for the Democrats

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Kansas state Sen. Barbara Bollier in 2018. | John Hanna/AP

Barbara Bollier is making the Kansas Senate race more competitive than many imagined.

A Democrat hasn’t won a US Senate seat in Kansas since 1932. And yet, for the first time in decades, the ruby-red state is seeing a truly competitive Senate race.

With an open seat after longtime Sen. Pat Roberts (R) announced his retirement, polls between Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier and Republican Rep. Roger Marshall show a tight contest within the margin of error. This summer, political experts in the state assumed the only way Democrats could make Kansas competitive was by running against controversial Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who lost to Marshall in the August primary.

But so far, Bollier’s fundraising and polling is defying every bit of conventional wisdom about Kansas politics. Bollier has out-fundraised Marshall by more than $5 million, the latest figures from OpenSecrets show.

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Sen. Pat Roberts and his wife Franki Roberts attend a dedication ceremony for The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial on September 17.

Most polls over the summer and fall…


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