by Melissa Brunner
Newt Gingrich plans campaign stops and is running TV ads in Topeka, Rick Santorum opened an office in Wichita, Mitt Romney has the backing of Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Ron Paul supporters have been rallying around town for weeks.
For once, in Kansas, you can actually see signs of a Presidential campaign season.
Since the state isn't exactly considered delegate-rich and since our primaries and caucuses fall after those in the key states, Kansas doesn't often get much attention from candidates during the primaries. In the general election, the state has gone Republican for so long that neither side wants to spare time that could be better spent wooing voters in swing states. It can sometimes make you feel a bit disenfranchised with the process. There's nothing like seeing a candidate up close and personal versus reading a few select sentences and hearing ten-second sound bites.
While Romney is still considered the frontrunner, Santorum is polling ahead of him in some states, like Ohio. Gingrich surged early then fell back, but still remains part of the conversation. And Paul has perhaps some of the most passionate backers around. For us, it means the race is still very much open and we may get to become more familiar with those in the running, instead of having the candidate decided before Kansas gets its say.
Are you happy about this? Do you want the campaign trail to run through Kansas? Or are you already tired of the whole process and prefer they just stay away?