Kansas sees its own blue wave: ‘If you can flip it here, you can flip it anywhere’

The midterm elections did not see a blue wave big enough for Democrats to take the U.S. Senate, but in the traditionally conservative state of Kansas, Democrats had a surprisingly strong showing.

Kansas elected Democrat Laura Kelly as governor, beating out Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach with 48% of the vote to Kobach’s 43%, with 98% of districts reporting. Kelly ran as a moderate, while Kobach received national attention for his role at the head of President Donald Trump’s now-shuttered commission to investigate voter fraud.

In a big upset, the state also elected Sharice Davids, who will be the first Native American woman and first lesbian elected to Congress. Davids, a moderate liberal who was previously a professional mixed-martial arts fighter, beat out Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder, who served four terms in Congress and voted for the tax cuts pushed by the Trump administration and the Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Kansas is generally considered to be a solid red state: It has not voted for a Democrat-majority Senate since 1932 and hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1964.

Kelly campaigned against many unpopular policies of former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, saying she would expand Medicaid and spend more on education.

Not everyone was enthused by the results in Kansas. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter said on Twitter that Kansas was “dead to her,” though she did not elaborate on which race she was addressing.

As could be expected, Democrats celebrating the results weren’t too concerned with Coulter’s view of things.

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