Presidential race could impact Kansas voters down-ballot

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – As the presidential campaign continues to heat up, Donald Trump continues to be a polarizing figure among some Republicans. But most prominent Kansas Republicans say they will reluctantly support Donald Trump for President.

“Rep. Pompeo has said from day one that he will support the party’s nominee, and this hasn’t changed,” said Congressman Mike Pompeo’s office, through a statement. “What we can’t have is Hillary Clinton in the White House, nominating extreme judges, weakening our national security, and crushing our economy.”

Dr. Roger Marshall, the Republican running for the 1st Congressional District, said Sunday night before the Presidential debate he would continue to support Trump, but not enthusiastically.

“As a husband, a father of a daughter, and an OB/GYN who has cared for tens of thousands of women, I was speechless, embarrassed for my party, and offended on behalf of Kansans. We must keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House, and so, I will reluctantly continue to support our current nominee.”

At least one political analyst says this will impact the local state races for House and Senate.

“We see across the country that Trump is having an influence on down ballot races,” says KSN Political Analyst Jeff Jarman. “A lot of candidates all across the country in competitive races have to make strong statements so that the Trump issue does not overwhelm their campaign.”

KSN reached out to Senator Pat Roberts but did not receive an immediate response.

Senator Jerry Moran has said that he would not endorse a candidate for president, or any candidate for office.

Jarman says both Trump and Hillary Clinton have not enjoyed high favorability ratings in Kansas.

“She (Hillary Clinton) faces a different set of challenges form the most liberal wing of the democratic party, whose frustration with her more moderate stances might cause them to vote switch,” says Jarman.

And, Jarman says, there could be vote switching down ballot because of the Presidential candidates.

“We know that this election cycle has turned people off to politics. We know they are tried of what they hear from the candidates, and we know that will have an effect on turnout,” explains Jarman. “On the other hand we know that the campaigns will be working very hard to get those voters to the polls. So right now, what we see is a likely depressed turnout from frustration with the campaign, and that will put more pressure on the campaigns to get out the vote efforts to combat that negative sentiment.”

Jarman says several close races are expected in both the House and Senate in Kansas, so campaigning now becomes more crucial with voters who may be tuned out.